daguerreotype

Using a Rolleiflex to Make Tintypes and Daguerreotypes

Those who have known me long enough are aware of my passion for Rolleiflex cameras. Back before I got deeper and deeper into alternative photography I used to shoot my TLRs all the time.

Modern Day Daguerreotypes of America’s National Parks

If film is "dead," then the daguerreotype is a distant memory. But thanks to photographers like Binh Danh, this magical photographic process is still alive, well, and capturing some of the same epic landscapes it was being used to capture a century ago.

These 1800s Cartoons Poked Fun at Photography

Poet Edgar Allan Poe had glowing things to say about photography after it exploded onto the scene in the mid-1800s. Other commentators in those days weren't so kind.

There are quite a few cartoons from the 1800s that show a more pessimistic view of photography and its emergence in the world.

Here’s What Edgar Allan Poe Wrote About the Birth of Photography in 1840

Did you know that when the daguerreotype was announced back in 1839, one of the people who wrote about the new groundbreaking technology was the famous poet Edgar Allan Poe?

After the world's first publicly announced photographic process was unveiled in January 1839, Poe wrote an article for the Philadelphia paper Alexander's Weekly Messenger in January 1840 titled, "The Daguerreotype." In the piece, Poe called the invention "perhaps the most extraordinary triumph of modern science."

The Real Oldest Photo of New York City is Not Nearly As Cool as the Fake One

News flash: You can't believe everything you see on Twitter. We know, we were shocked too.

Such was the case with this striking sepia-toned image that started lighting up the mediasphere yesterday billed as "the Earliest Photograph Taken of New York City - Broadway, May 1850." (And immediately started attracting comments in the vein of: "And they haven't fixed the potholes since!")

Pioneering Photographer Robert Cornelius Credited With World’s First Selfie c. 1839

Selfie, schmelfie! How self-absorbed do you really have to be to spend all of 20 seconds pointing a phone at yourself and tapping a few buttons? But a process that requires up to 15 minutes of statue-still posing, exposure to hazardous chemicals and construction of custom camera? Now that's something worth bragging about.

So all hail pioneering American photographer Robert Cornelius, whose rough but certainly recognizable image, taken mere months after Louis Daugerre revealed his daguerrotype process in 1839, is undoubtedly the world's first photographic self-portrait and may even be the first photographic portrait of any kind.

A Beautiful Video of the Daguerreotype Process

The way film photographers feel about digital photographers may be the way daguerreotype photographers feel about the film guys. Working with dangerous chemicals, buffing out silver coated plates, spending an entire day preparing for, taking and developing one shot; that's what daguerreotype photographers love to do. It's the difference between "crafting a photograph" and "just snapping away."

In this short film -- put together by photographer and videographer Patrick Richardson Wright -- Seattle-based photog Dan Carrillo talks about that craftsmanship, as well as the beauty and permanence of daguerreotype photography that keeps him doing it when others say "why bother."

An Animated History of Photography from Camera Obscura to Camera Phones

If you've never heard a basic overview of the history of photography, then this cute little animated video from TED-Ed is here for you. It covers everything from the invention of the camera obscura, to the battle between the calotype and the daguerreotype, to the rise of portable cameras.

George Eastman House Enlists Scientific Aid in Preserving Fading Daguerreotypes

Eight years ago, it was discovered that some of the earliest daguerreotypes ever taken were fading away before our very eyes. Given the historical significance of these photographs, watching them deteriorate over time was unacceptable. So, in an attempt to save them, George Eastman House has enlisted the help of the University of Rochester.

The Beauty of Decayed Daguerreotypes

The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of daguerreotype photographs captured over the past two centuries. In addition to browsing the technically perfect ones that document history and people, it's also interesting to look at metal plates that are flawed.

Collector Claims Discovery of Chopin Photograph

A Polish collector claims he's found an extremely rare daguerrotype of composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin, taken in his final repose in 1849.

If the image is authentic, it would be one of only three photographs of the composer, including the image of him alive in 1846, above. And it would be the only known original daguerrotype in existence -- all other images are duplicates.

First Ever Photograph of a Human Being

This photograph of Boulevard du Temple in Paris was made in 1838 by Louis Daguerre, the brilliant guy that invented the daguerreotype process of photography. Aside from its distinction of being a super early photograph, it's also the first photograph to ever include a human being. Because the image required an exposure time of over ten minutes, all the people, carriages, and other moving things disappear from the scene. However, in the bottom left hand corner is a man who just so happened to stay somewhat still during the shot -- he was having his shoes shined.