Sunday, April 5, 2015

The First Photographer

View from the Window at Le Gras
View from the Window at Le Gras
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce is credited with the invention of photography and capturing the first photographic image. View from the Window at Le Gras was captured in 1826 or 1827 with a camera obscura on a pewter plate that had been coated with a photosensitive emulsion of bitumen of Judea dissolved in lavender oil.

Niépce developed his process to simplify the creation of lithographic printing plates. Lithographic plates of images were often created by using a camera obscura to project the image and manually tracing the image onto the plate. His lack of skill in drawing and tracing inspired him to find a better method.

The fact that the buildings are lit by the sun from both directions indicate that the exposure must have been eight to nine hours.  However, modern researchers experimenting with similar materials have suggested that the exposure might have taken several days.

Niépce named his process Heliography and was not able to successfully commercialize it during his lifetime.

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The Price of Canvas
Walter Arnold and the Art of Abandonment
The Best Camera