© Lloyd Blackburn  2002-2020

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A Brief History of Photography

This is the boring bit, on a summer’s day in 1827, Nicephore Niepce (born Joseph Niepce) (7th March 1765 - 5th July 1833) a French inventor, made the first photographic image with a camera obscura. Prior to Joseph Nicephore Niepce, people just used the camera obscura for viewing or drawing purposes and not for making photographs. Joseph Nicephore Niepce's heliographs or sun prints as they were called were the prototype for the modern photograph, by letting light draw the picture. Niepce placed an engraving onto a metal plate coated in bitumen, and then exposed it to light.  The shadowy areas of the engraving blocked light, but the whiter areas permitted light to react with the chemicals on the plate. When Niepce placed the metal plate in a solvent, gradually an image, until then invisible, appeared. However, Niepce's photograph required eight hours of light exposure to create and after appearing would sadly soon fade away. Photography as we know it today, was invented or credited to a Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (18th November 1787 - 10th July 1851) a French artist and physicist, was experimenting with silver compounds based on a Johann Heinrich Schultz discovery in 1816, that a silver and chalk mixture darkens when exposed to light.

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