Into the Darkroom: Daguerreotypes and the Beginnings of Photography

2012-06-12 1

“Into the Darkroom” is a mini series about photo processing, developing, labs, and, well, darkrooms! For the first installment, we’re sharing this informative video about the first commercially successful photographic process: the daguerreotype. Learn how photographs were made way back in the 19th century. A must-see for every Lomographer!

And then there was light—the singular source of our great passion. Evolving from writings on the wall and sketches and paintings, camera obscura (aka pinhole) was the first form of photography that involved the manipulation of light onto a surface to produce an image. Later on, but before we had the convenience of one-hour photo labs, there was the daguerreotype.

Screencaps of The Daguerreotype: Photographic Processes

The first commercially successful photographic process, daguerreotype photography was announced by the French Academy of Sciences in January 9, 1839.

It was developed primarily by Louis Daguerre with the help of inventor Nicéphore Niépce. Niépce produced the world’s first heliograph in 1822 and the first permanent camera photograph four years later, but passed away suddenly in 1833. Daguerre continued to explore the medium and took the first photos of the Moon in January 2, 1839, evolving the process now known as the daguerreotype.

The George Eastman House, the oldest photography museum and archive, has created this interesting clip about the history of the daguerreotype and how they are developed. Similar to tin type photography, this is a process which every Lomographer must understand as it is the basis of the art form we so love today! Watch The Daguerreotype: Photographic Processes below:

The Daguerreotype: Photographic Processes by the George Eastman House via YouTube

While innovative for its time, it is one of the rarer and more antiquated photo processes used today. Do you have archaic daguerreotypes of your own? We’d love to see them!

Sources include Lomography, George Eastman House, PetaPixel and WikiPedia.

*Into the Darkroom* is a mini series about photo processing, developing, labs, and, well, darkrooms! Got tips or stories in mind? Email

written by denisesanjose on 2012-06-12 #videos #lifestyle #history #developing #classic #analogue-photography #camera-obscura #analogue-cameras #daguerreotype #into-the-darkroom-mini-series #george-eastman-house

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One Comment

  1. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    And it is just a fun word to say :)

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