What is daguerreotype

People have always wanted to capture the happiest moments of their lives, keep pleasant moments in their memory and visually trace how the world around them has changed over the years. The desire to find such a method of automatic fixation of memories led to the invention of photography.

The process of daguerreotype - getting photos

The process of creating a snapshot-daguerreotype is carried out in several stages:

  1. In the camera obscura create conditions for the entry into the reaction of the silver material of the plate and iodine vapor. After some time, a photosensitive layer of silver iodide is formed on the surface of the plate.
  2. The plate is subjected to exposure for from 15 minutes to half an hour under bright light. Under strong light exposure, the destruction of silver iodide molecules, as well as the volatilization of iodine vapor occurs. Due to the microscopic grains of silver, an "illusory" (hidden) picture is formed.
  3. After the plate is sent to the "development" in a pair of heated mercury (from 50 to 80 ° C), which is able to dissolve silver, thus forming a special, gray shade alloy - amalgam.
  4. Then the plate is fixed and washed in a hot brine solution, due to which silver iodide remains are removed and a polished silver surface is exposed.
  5. The structure of the amalgam film is fragile, and silver is easily amenable to oxidation in open air conditions. In this regard, gold chloride is additionally applied to the daguerreotype, which makes the photograph durable and paints it in the color of ocher with a reddish-brown tint. So the picture on the daguerreotype is a mirror.

The main drawback of daguerreotypes was the inability to multiply them. A small degree of sensitivity of the plates required a lot of time to compose the exposure, so the face and hair of the person whose portrait they wanted to capture in the picture had to be covered with a thick layer of powder or chalk. Such manipulations allowed reflected light to fall into the camera obscura. In addition, the daguerreotypes were heavy and cost a lot of money.

Daguerreotype development. How has the art of photography changed

The popularity of daguerreotypes did not help to organize the production of images on a massive scale. Domen Francois Argo, director of the observatory in Paris, helped assess the future development of daguerreotypes.

The idea of ​​the inventor of photography was also supported by Louis Joseph Gay-Lussac, who declared the discovery of Daguerre as a new trend in art. With its help, created a new era - a symbol of the glory of civilization.

In search of new ways to effectively "dry" daguerreotypes, researchers resorted to the use of gelatin as a binding layer. Richard Madox in 1871 first proposed to use gelatin emulsion to increase the sensitivity of the plates, which allowed them to be kept dry. Progress continued to advance, and by 1840 a mixture of iodine and bromine came to replace gelatin.

Great merit in the development of photographic art belongs to the Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot, who proposed his own technology to create images. His calotype, or "talbotypia," is an intermediate way of obtaining photographs, after daguerreotype, but before the film apparatus. This method is distinguished by the emergence of another point - the creation of a negative, allowing you to "stamp" photos in unlimited quantities.

Famous vintage photos. The first daguerreotypes of famous people

1839 - a significant date in the history of photographic art. It was at this time that the first portrait photographs of men and women began to appear. Of all the daguerreotypes that have survived to this day, the following photo portraits are of particular value:

Year of shotWhose portrait is captured in the photoDescription, interesting facts about daguerreotypes
1839The photo shows a woman of American origin - Dorothy Catherine Draper. She was captured in the picture by her colleague.This daguerreotype is considered the first photographic portrait of a woman with open eyes. The exposure time was a little more than a minute, so a thick layer of whitewash was applied on the face.
In another photo, dated the same year -
- Robert Cornelius, the Dutch chemist managed to capture a self-portrait.
This experimental picture, compared with modern analogs - “selfie”, looks much more relaxed and expressive. The earliest daguerreotypes express the sincere state of a person at the time of shooting, later static posturing replaced the naturalness.
Great Mozart with his family.One of the most interesting assumptions regarding this picture is that the daguerreotype captures the composer's wife Constance (an elderly woman sitting in the first row).
1846Adams family dynasty.By the 1940s, the art of photography penetrated the masses, making it possible for most people to capture themselves and their families by taking a memorable picture. Thanks to such daguerreotypes, today people can see what citizens looked like in the last century.
1852Konrad Heyer - the first "white American", born on the continent.Haire posed for his photographer in respectable age, at the time of the shooting the man was 103 years old. His eyes reflect the past era of the distant 1700s.

Among the vintage photographs of the last century in the archives, for more parts of private collections or museums, there are daguerreotypes of political figures, Hollywood stars and other famous people:

  • Image of Stalin at the age of 28, captured during the funeral procession of his first wife in 1907.
  • A dynamic photo of 1908 by Claude Monet and his wife, busy feeding pigeons.
  • 25-year-old Adolf Hitler.
  • Passport photograph of Ernest Hemingway.
  • Young 18-year-old Agnes Gonja Boyadzhiu, known throughout the world as Mother Teresa - a living symbol of mercy and hope - 1928.
  • Photograph of 1938 with the image of a young Fidel Castro.
  • Daguerreotype Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot at the dinner table.
  • In 1840, a daguerreotype of the arrested police of Boston, Igor Stravninsky, was made for trying to make changes to the arrangement of the national anthem.
  • A 1994 photograph illustrates how a simple working Frenchman lights up a cigarette for Winston Churchill in Sheruri.
  • Nikita Khrushchev's Daguerreotype during his visit to India - 1956.
  • Vintage shot of a Hollywood actor Leonard DiCaprio with his grandmother of Russian descent (born in Perm Elena Smirnova, later - Helen Indenbirken).
  • Photo of Tom Cruise with Nicole Kidman and Stanley Kubrick during the filming of the cult motion picture "Eyes Wide Shut" - 1999.

Domestic Daguerreotype

Russian inventor Alexei Grekov is the first creator of the domestic camera, consisting of two boxes: with a photosensitive plate and a lens. From their movement relative to each other's position, the degree of sharpness of the picture also changed. Alexey Grekov was the founder of the first Russian art room in which portrait photography was carried out.

Another compatriot and world-renowned expert in photographic equipment, Sergei Levitsky, in 1847 changed the design of the photographic apparatus, adding folding fur, which allows you to adjust the sharpness of the daguerreotype.

Daguerreotypes of famous people in Russia

The first photo studio was opened in Moscow in 1840. Thanks to the excellent preservation of daguerreotypes, today there is an opportunity to see portraits of famous Russian figures who lived more than a hundred years ago:

  • N.V. Gogol, surrounded by representatives of the Russian community in 1845. Levitsky created a group portrait, according to which it can be concluded about the qualitative resolution of the source code.
  • Decembrists in the city of Irkutsk, captured in the picture by A. Davignon, during his first photo tour of Russia.
  • Nikolai Alekseevich Panov - from the same series of portraits of A. Davignon about the Decembrists made in 1845.
  • Young Turgenev, shot by the hand of the photographer Bisson.
  • Russian religious philosopher, literary critic and publicist I.V. Kirieevsky.
  • Alexander Herzen, P.A. Vyazemsky, F.I. Tyutcheva, D.I. Mendeleev and many other prominent Russian figures, writers and scientists of the 19th century.

Interesting Facts

  1. It is believed that the first photograph of a man, taken in 1838, belongs to Louis Dagger.
  2. The first vintage "self" - a self-portrait, made by Robert Cornelius in 1839, who was awarded the title of "pioneer of photography."
  3. The first photograph under water was able to carry out William Thompos in 1856 with the help of a pole on which the camera was attached.
  4. The first photograph, taken in 1858 by the method of aerophotographic photography, depicting Parisian streets, belongs to Gaspard Tournache.
  5. The first successful photograph of the moon was taken by JW Draper in 1840.
  6. Our planet in all its glory, managed to capture on the photograph in 1972
  7. The first image made by the daguerreotype in Russia is a snapshot of St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Daguerreotype today

For all the time of the existence of daguerreotypes - more than 20 years since the beginning of its invention, scientists have not been able to achieve the effect of enhanced clarity on the images issued by the device. Compared to the capabilities of modern camera models, the classic daguerreotype did not have a high-tech matrix. However, the popularity of daguerreotype does not disappear.

More and more enthusiasts are trying to revive the public interest in this technology of obtaining photographs. Moreover, the fascination with "vintage" photographic equipment has become an expensive pleasure, which proves its value. Previously used materials for the development of personnel, and especially chemicals, are difficult to obtain in the store. Around the world one can find only a handful of professionals who masterfully know daguerreotype, the most famous are J. Spagnolli, C. Close, and B. Galasso.

The modern world can not be imagined without the art of photography. From luxury goods cameras turned into something ordinary. Nobody will be surprised even with the most modern photographic equipment. But no "heaped" gadgets can replace the unique daguerreotype - the discoverer of the world of photography, a real "mirror of memory", which allowed us to capture a moment of history on photographs.

Watch the video: The Daguerreotype - Photographic Processes Series - Chapter 2 of 12 (October 2019).

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