Photography Pioneer Profile ~ Louis Daguerre

On January 7, 1839, members of the French Académie des Sciences were shown products of an invention that would forever change the nature of visual representation: photography. The astonishingly precise pictures they saw were the work of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851), a Romantic painter and printmaker. Each daguerreotype (as Daguerre dubbed his invention) was a one-of-a-kind image on a highly polished, silver-plated sheet of copper. He worked with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (the inventor of photography) to perfect the medium. Niépce had achieved primitive but real results as early as 1826. By the time Niépce died in 1833, the partners had yet to come up with a practical, reliable process.

Not until 1838 had Daguerre's continued experiments progressed to the point where he felt comfortable showing examples of the new medium to selected artists and scientists in the hope of lining up investors. François Arago, a noted astronomer and member of the French legislature, was among the new art's most enthusiastic admirers. He became Daguerre's champion in both the Académie des Sciences and the Chambre des Députés, securing the inventor a lifetime pension in exchange for the rights to his process. Only on August 19, 1839, was the revolutionary process explained, step by step, before a joint session of the Académie des Sciences and the Académie des Beaux-Arts, with an eager crowd of spectators spilling over into the courtyard outside.

 Daguerre's name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel tower.

Daguerreotype of Louis Daguerre in 1844 by Jean-Baptiste Sabatier-Blot  ~ 1844

The process seemed magical. Each daguerreotype is a remarkably detailed, one-of-a-kind photographic image on a highly polished, silver-plated sheet of copper, sensitized with iodine vapors, exposed in a large box camera, developed in mercury fumes, and stabilized (or fixed) with salt water or "hypo" (sodium thiosulphate). Although Daguerre was required to reveal, demonstrate, and publish detailed instructions for the process, he wisely retained the patent on the equipment necessary to practice the new art.

[via The MET]

One of the very first successful daguerreotypes "Daguerre Atelier" 1837

"Boulevard du Temple", taken by Daguerre in 1838 in Paris, was the first photograph of a person. The image shows a street, but because of the over ten minute exposure time the moving traffic does not appear. The exceptions are the man and shoe-shine boy at the bottom left, and two people sitting at a table nearby who stood still long enough to have their images captured. [wiki] 

The first authenticated image of Abraham Lincoln was this daguerreotype of him as U.S.Congressman-elect in 1846, attributed to Nicholas H. Shepard of Springfield, Illinois

Ichiki Shirō's 1857 daguerreotype of Shimazu Nariakira (Japanese feudal lord), the earliest surviving Japanese photograph. Shimazu obtained the first daguerreotype camera ever imported into Japan. Ever fascinated by Western technology, he ordered his retainers (including Ichiki) to study it and produce working photographs. Due to the limitations of the lens used and the lack of formal training, it took many years for a quality photograph to be created, but on 17 September 1857, Ichiki created a portrait of Shimazu in formal attire. After Shimazu's death the photograph went missing but later turned up in a warehouse in 1975

The solar eclipse of July 28, 1851 is the first correctly exposed photograph of a solar eclipse, using the daguerreotype process.

You have read this article black and white / Daguerreotype / Louis Daguerre / Photography Pioneer with the title Photography Pioneer Profile ~ Louis Daguerre. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...