Photography was invented in the nineteenth century. The basic instrument for creating an image was the camera obscura which was as far back in the past as in Ancient Greece.
Here are some important dates:
1556 - Georg Fabricius noted that silver chloride blacks under the influence of sunlight.
1724 - light sensitivity of silver nitrate is observed by Johann Heinrich Schulze.
1725 - Halle philologist won the race with first mapping of the image on the photosensitive emulsions prepared with silver chloride on the backing of white chalk.
"Prepared chalk respectively served as a substance designed to provide uniform coverage as the backing material emulsion. As a model for mapping the image he used opaque material in which he cut templates. Then the emulsion was irradiated in the sun for these templates. In this way, Halle obtained the first, but not preservable photographic image."