The early days of photography was as simple as exposing a piece of paper or glass was covered with the light sensitive material and then something would be placed on it and exposed to light. The result would be something like you’ll see in this article from PetaPixel. There is a video and sample below and if you want to see more check out the article.
I had to amend this post when Google featured Anna Atkins birthday at the top of their home page. I’m sure you could just search her name and come up with the same results, but I had to include it here just because I was so excited about it. So check in out and read something about her. Click on the images tab and browse the pictures and know that this is where photography has evolved from.