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LECTURE 2 - LECTURE 2 OUTLINES Lecture 2 Daguerre February...

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LECTURE 2 OUTLINES Lecture 2: Daguerre February 4, 2008 -Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre (1787-1851) - Photography was invented simultaneously in various countries. -We will focus on two inventors: -Louis Jacques Daguerre- who was in France -William Henry Fox Talbot- who was in England -Traditionally the starting point of photography is January 7, 1839 when Francois Argot announced Daguerre’s invention. -In both France and England the invention straddled scientific discovery and technological product -The Camera Obscura - The camera obscura was an ancestor of the modern camera. The principle that light rays travel in straight lines has been known for centuries. - When light rays from a bright object enter a small hole in a darkened room, they produce an inverted image of that object through the lens on the opposite wall. -It was used as a device to aid artists in drawing i.e. tracing, to create grids, silhouettes. -By adding a mirror to the camera obscura, the image could be turned right side up, allowing for the artist to copy a true image. - With photography, the device allowed for no need of artist intervention. The device fixed the image itself. -Photography as a process -Chemists needed substances that reacted to light and substances that made things stop reacting to light -Wedgewood’s problem was that he could’t get things to stop reacting to light. He would copy silhouettes and drawings using silver salts , but to preserve the image he had to keep it in the dark .
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-In 1819, Sir John Herschel discovered sodium hyposulfate , which helped discover silver salts. This chemical that he discovered helped fix images. -The process: put silver iodide on a plate exposing it to light and then exposing it to mercury vapor and then use hyposulfate too fix the images. -Nicephore Niepce and his collaboration with Daguerre -Niepce was experimenting with substances. He made the first photograph, but it required an 8 hour exposure time. Some claim he should be considered the founder of photography. -In 1829, Daguerre began working with him, but Niepce died in 1843. -Daguerreotype and its properties -Detailed high resolution -Unique-cannot be reproduced -Its uniqueness made it very precious, and it was treated that way. It oftentimes had a jewel-like quality, and it might be surrounded with fabrics, jewels, in a box, etc. -Hard to look at because of a reflexive surface -Mercury droplets appear lighter -Fragile and can be easily destroyed by physical contact -Relatively expensive for a photograph when compared to Talbot’s photographs on paper(but cheaper than a painting) -Required a long exposure time - The causes of the success of the Daguerreotype -Entrepreneurial -Flashy effects from a black box (following the diorama) - Daguerre wanted to make a profit off of his invention.
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