Three Early Photographers

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, 7 March 1765 – 5 July 1833

Unfortunately we don’t have a photo of Joseph, but we do have this painting.

The image most associated with Niépce is considered by most the first photograph. It was of a courtyardg outside a window of his work study, and it is thought by many to be an eight hour exposure because the building appears to be lit by the sun from different angles.


Louis Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851

Daguerre had been working since the 1820s on a solution that would react to light, then become fixed and stable. He formed a partnership with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1829, who was working on the same problem. When Niépce died in 1833, he left all of his notes with Daguerre, who soon developed a practical photographic solution.

He shared his process to the world but kept the copyright of the mechanical devices. Unfortunately, a fire in 1839 destroyed everything, and there are fewer than 25 officially recognized Daguerreotypes left in the world.

The following image is said to be the first photographic image of a human. Someone was walking in the park and stopped to get his shoes shined, which may have taken five or six minutes. This is approximately the time of exposure, so you can see the hatted gentleman with a bent knee in the lower left center.


William Henry Fox Talbot (11 February 1800 – 17 September 1877

William Fox Talbot was quite the English classic scientist. He is generally regarded as the father of English photography and he developed the technology behind salt paper and calotype process in photography. He is known for the first interesting photographic still life’s.