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emilee cook

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of Daguerrotypes

What is it?
The name "daguerreotype" correctly refers only to one very distinctive image type and medium, produced by a specific photographic process that was in wide use only from the early 1840s to the late 1850s. Often confused with other antique images like tintypes
Evolution of the Daguerreotype
1. The silver-plated copper plate is cleaned and polished until the surface looks like a mirror

2. Next, the plate is sensitized in a closed box over iodine until it takes on a yellow-rose appearance.

3. The plate, held in a lightproof holder, is then transferred to the camera.

4. After exposure to light, the plate is developed over hot mercury until an image appears.

5. To fix the image, the plate is immersed in a solution of sodium thiosulfate or salt and then toned with gold chloride.
Immediately after it's release the world fell in love with the Daguerreotype
But, for all of its beauty, the daguerreotype did have disadvantages. It was relatively heavy, reflections from plates made viewing difficult and its delicate surface required protective glass and frames.
However within the first year, improvements were already being made in the lenses, apparatus, and chemistry of the process to the point that portraiture was possible in relatively short exposures.
Popularity of the daguerreotype declined in the late 1850s when the ambrotype, a faster and less expensive photographic process, became available.
Although primarily a nineteenth-century medium involving a painstaking process the daguerreotype can still be found today practiced by contemporary photographers.
The process - http://petapixel.com/2013/04/27/photographer-films-beautiful-ode-to-the-process-of-developing-a-daguerreotype/
- The daguerreotype was the first publicly announced photographic process

- first produced in 1837 and announced to the world in 1839
The distinguishing visual characteristics of a daguerreotype are that the image is on a bright (ignoring any areas of tarnish) mirror-like surface of metallic silver and it will appear either positive or negative depending on the lighting conditions and whether a light or dark background is being reflected in the metal.
The Process
- the invention of this is credited to Louis Daguerre
- born in 1787
- He was a french artist and photographer
- His experimenting began during the 1920s as he was aided by his regular use of the camera obscura
- he is said to have discovered the daguerreotype by accident when he put an exposed plate in his chemical cupboard, and some days later found, to his surprise, that the latent image had developed.
- He eventually concluded that this was due to the presence of mercury vapour from a broken thermometer. This important discovery that a latent image could be developed made it possible to reduce the exposure time from some eight hours to thirty minutes.
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