Although capturing images via focused light has been around since the Middle Ages, it was not until 1827 that Joseph Nicephore Niepce captured the first photographic image, with his camera obscura. His primitive process required eight hours of light exposure, and the resulting image faded away quickly.
The practical technique of photographic development was invented by Louis Daguerre in 1829, in which he partnered with Niepce to perfect his process. It was not until after Niepce's death that Daguerre finally created a relatively fast and convenient process by which to develop photographs. Daguerre called his technique the Daguerreotype. By coating a sheet of silver-plated copper in iodine and exposing the sheet to light, Daguerre was able to create a long lasting image.