The Analogue Reader: The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre


What if the world will end within a year--what would you, as a lomographer, immortalize through photographs? In this installment of The Analogue Reader, I present to you an interesting book wherein photography pioneer Louis Daguerre seeks to answer this very question. Read on to find out more and share your own answers!

Photo via Open Library

In his thought-provoking and highly gripping debut novel, Dominic Smith takes us back to the early days of photography in 1847 Paris. During this time, French artist and physicist Louis Daguerre had already been working with poisonous mercury vapors for a decade, using it to cure his daguerreotype images. The noxious fumes had already started to take their toll on the photography pioneer’s body, plaguing him with illness and delusions.

One of these crazed visions came to him while he was in a bathtub: the world is set to end in a year, and he must make haste to immortalize through photographs ten items, which he collated in a so-called “Doomsday List.” Among the items in this list is a portrait of Isobel Le Fournier, the woman he has always loved but hasn’t seen or spoken to in fifty years.

I will not spoil you with the rest of items in Daguerre’s list, but I have to say that if you love photography and you are interested in its roots, this book should be on top of your to-read novels. Everything is so compelling and eloquently written that, like how I felt about The Lady and the Unicorn, it’s difficult to simply dismiss it as a 300-something paged historical fiction.

Now, for the challenge: If you were in Daguerre’s place and you felt compelled to immortalize ten items through photographs before the world ends, which would they be? Go ahead and leave a comment below with your own Doomsday List, and like we always do, tag friends who you feel have some interesting answers!

All information for this article were taken from Dominic Smith's Official Website and GoodReads.

Here in Lomography, we are all lovers of all things analogue, in various aspects and varying degrees. If you’re one of those who prefer reading the analogue way, you might want to check out the rest of the articles in The Analogue Reader series!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2012-06-22 in #lifestyle #the-analogue-reader #analogue-lifestyle #book-review #book #lomography #louis-daguerre

One Comment

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    My 10 Doomsday list :

    1. To the north pole
    2. To the south pole
    3. To Bermuda triangle
    4. To Au Revoir Simone's gig
    5. To Kate Bush's gig
    6. To The Smiths reunion gig
    7. To The Libertines's reunion gig
    8. To Stefanie Schneider's meet & greet
    9. To Irene Andessner's meet & greet
    10. To Bandung city, West Java, Indonesia, South East Asia

More Interesting Articles

  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 4

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-05 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 4

    Read on dear friend and I will weave a story for you. There may be more questions than answers raised by this peculiar tale. But if it’s clarity you seek, have no fear, things will become clear in time (they always do, don’t they?). So rub the Sandman’s dust from your sleepy eyes and take a journey with me. If you think you have an answer when we reach the end, please do share it in the comments!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo Chris Pollard

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-12-08 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo Chris Pollard

    Chris Pollard is a fashion photographer who, despite his exposure to the fast-paced world of runways and fashion, still has a passion for film photography. He expressed a keen interest in testing the New Petzval Lens, and we were more than glad to let him try it for himself. He shares photos ad answers a few questions in this exclusive feature.

  • Lomopedia: Olympus Ecru

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-23 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Olympus Ecru

    Another quirky-looking analogue snapper from the 1990s, the all-automatic, all-white Olympus Ecru is certainly one of the most interesting and compact cameras you can add to your collection. Find out more about it in this installment of Lomopedia!

  • Shop News

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Here is another way to enjoy analogue experience and capture great memories in an instant! This package includes the best creative lenses for your LomoInstant camera!

  • Pieces of Berlin Make Their Way to NYC

    written by efrost on 2014-09-29 in #people #events
    Pieces of Berlin Make Their Way to NYC

    Photographer Florian Reischauer is no stranger to the Lomography community. In 2013, our LomoAmigo took a Lubitel 166+ out for a spin and told us about his famous blog, "Pieces of Berlin". A few years earlier, he took time to take part in the 5 Questions on Analogue Photographyseries. Now, we’re here to give you the latest scoop on Florian Reischauer and his next appearance in NYC to present his new book which was based off of his blog, "Pieces of Berlin 2009-2013".

  • Capturing the Beauty of Life – A Talk with Esben Bøg Jensen

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-04-01 in #people #lifestyle
    Capturing the Beauty of Life – A Talk with Esben Bøg Jensen

    Warm tones, subtle grains, beautiful moments of everyday life – the photos by Esben Bøg Jensen, a young and talented photographer from Denmark, let us escape into our memories and dream about a never-ending spring. We talked to the photographer himself and couldn’t help feeling a pleasant wave of joy overcoming us. Read on and get inspired to search for the moments that make us feel alive.

  • Petzval Amigo: Davie Tidd

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-01 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Amigo: Davie Tidd

    We lent David Tidd a Petzval Art Lens to test its full potential. He gave us some tips on how to get the most out of this beautiful portrait lens. Read on for the full interview.

  • Shop News

    Shoot sharply with Oktomat Bullseye

    Shoot sharply with Oktomat Bullseye

    Shoot sharply without hurting your budget. At 30% off you can now experiment with 8 sequential shots in one 35mm print! Tell stories in 2.5 seconds with 8 scenes in one shot!

  • Awesome Albums: LC-A+ x Redscale XR x Countryside by Bnjmn

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-03-31 in #world #lifestyle
    Awesome Albums: LC-A+ x Redscale XR x Countryside by Bnjmn

    These redscale pictures make us imagine a darkroom out in the sunshine.

  • James Wright's So It Goes x Sri Lanka Photo Diary (Part I)

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-31 in #world #locations
    James Wright's So It Goes x Sri Lanka Photo Diary (Part I)

    In December last year James Wright, editor and creative director of So It Goes Magazine, went on a two-week trip to Sri Lanka, "a place so long on our bucket list, but up until then, as yet unvisited," he writes on the first of his three-part photo diary. Herein is the first of his series that chronicles his adventures, highlighted by a selection of breathtaking images of the Sri Lankan countryside and the locals, among many other images, captured with his trusty photographic companions: the Leica MP, Lomo LC-A+, and an assortment of films including the LomoChrome Purple.

  • Photo of the Day by alexlin

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-31 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by alexlin

    Spot the cat curled up tightly into a cute ball of fur.

  • Shop News

    LC-A Instant Back+ at Lesser Price!

    LC-A Instant Back+ at Lesser Price!

    Grab this lovely accessory at discounted price! LC-A instant Back is iideal for your summer getaways to capture memories instantly with your LC-A cameras in hand!

  • Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition Winners!

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-31 in #gear #news #competitions
    Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition Winners!

    In celebration of the mindblowing solar eclipse we had the other day, we ran a competition and asked you to tag your analogue photos centered around our great big yellow friend! Check out the winners now!

  • Thomas Hoepker's Lifetime of Wanderlust

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-03-31 in #world #lifestyle
    Thomas Hoepker's Lifetime of Wanderlust

    For sixty years, Thomas Hoepker traveled the world on assignment. The pictures from his far-flung expeditions are now in one book aptly called "Wanderlust".

  • Россия в картинках (Russia in Pictures): Siberian Delight

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-31 in #world #locations
    Россия в картинках (Russia in Pictures): Siberian Delight

    In his latest travel series, Herr Willie shares a selection of fine photographs from his Russian adventures and tells the stories behind them.