History of Photography

Introduction History of Photography (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

A World History of Photography (by Naomi Rosenblum)

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991 (by Hans-Michael Koetzle)

Photographers' Dictionary
(based on "20th Century Photography - Museum Ludwig Cologne")



Photographers' Dictionary

(based on "20th Century Photography-Museum Ludwig Cologne")



see also:

Nicephore Niepce.

View from the Study Window, 1827


Nicephore Niepce

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (March 7, 1765 – July 5, 1833) was a French inventor, most noted as the inventor of photography and a pioneer in the field. He is well-known for taking some of the earliest photographs, dating to the 1820s.
Joseph Niépce was born on 7 March 1765 in Chalon-sur-Saône, France. He created the first permanent photograph, of the exterior of his home, around 1826. The photograph was made using a camera obscura and a sheet of pewter coated with bitumen of Judea, an asphalt that when exposed to light, hardened permanently. This first photograph was captured during an eight hour exposure, taking so much time that the sun passed overhead and thus illuminating both sides of the courtyard.
Niépce did not have a steady enough hand to trace the inverted images created by the camera obscura, as was popular in his day, so he looked for a way to capture an image permanently. He experimented with lithography, which led him in his attempt to take a photograph using a camera obscura. Niépce also experimented with silver chloride, which hardens when exposed to light, but eventually looked to the bitumen, which he used in his first successful attempt at capturing nature photographically. He dissolved the bitumen in lavender oil, a solvent often used in varnishes, and coated the sheet of pewter with this light capturing mixture, he placed the sheet inside a camera obscura to capture the picture, and eight hours later removed it and washed it with lavender oil to remove the unexposed bitumen.
He began experimenting to set optical images in 1793. Some of his early experiments made images, but they faded very fast. It was said that he made the first long lasting images in 1824. The earliest known example of a Niépce photograph (or any other photograph) was created in June or July of 1827 or 1826, according to some information. Niépce called his process heliography, which literally means "sun writing".
Starting in 1829 he began collaborating on improved photographic processes with Louis Daguerre, and together they developed the physautotype, a process that used lavender oil. The partnership lasted until Niépce’s death in 1833. At this point Daguerre continued with experimentation, and in 1839 revealed to the public his new process for taking pictures, which he called the Daguerreotype, after himself, and for a good many years Niépce received no credit for what was essentially his invention. Niépce’s son eventually fought for and won his father's right to be credited for this invention, but Niépce’s name was never as well known as was Daguerre’s.
In 2002, an earlier remaining photograph which had been taken by Niépce was found in a French photograph collection. The photograph was found to been taken in 1825, and it was an image of an engraving of a young boy leading a horse into a stable. The photograph itself later sold for 450,000 euros at an auction.


Homage to Niepce:
double-page spread from Miroirdu Monde, June 17, 1933. Hi's View from the Study Window had yet to be discovered.


View from His Window at Le Gras, c. 1827. Heliograph. Gernsheim Collection.


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