Joseph Niépce and Louis Daguerre
The earliest photographical processes were created during the 1820s. The first photograph, which still exists today, was taken by Frenchman Joseph Niépce (1765-1833), who is considered to be the founding father of photography technology with his invention of heliography.
Fellow Frenchman and colleague Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) was a step ahead when he invented a process known as daguerreotype, which was named after Daguerre himself. Initially, the images were formed on pure silver sheets. For monetary reasons, he later exchanged pure silver with silver plated copper.
Despite the long exposure time required to successfully produce an image, daguerreotypes were increasingly able to compete with the conventionally painted miniatures. Capturing a mirror image of reality was something entirely new when photography was first invented. Despite this, it soon developed its very own artistic language and was eventually recognized as an art form in itself.
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