SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Portrait of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833), French Chemist and pioneer of photography. Like Thomas Wedgewood and Henry Fox Talbot in England, Niépce sought to capture permanently the images created by the camera obscura, then a popular drawing aid. After having had no success with silver chloride coated paper, In 1826 he succeeded in making a permanent image using a pewter plate coated with an asphalt known as bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring petroleum tar, which is a light-sensitive substance. This directly positive image he made of the view from his window is now accepted as the first actual photograph. From 1829 he collaborated with Daguerre in the search for more sensitive materials but he died before any progress was achieved.
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