Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre (November 18, 1787 – July 10, 1851) – French artist and inventor, one of the creators of photography.
According to legend, in the summer of 1835 Daguerre after another unsuccessful shooting, when the plates have not received any pictures, put them away in a cabinet with chemicals. Opening it a few days later, he was surprised to see a bright positive image on polished silver. Guessing that the case is in the vapor of some substances that were stored in a locker, he chose the simplest method for sorting and successive elimination of reasons: everyday he put in a cabinet the new exposed plate removing the chemicals one by one. And found that the conversion of the sensitive layer caused by a few drops of mercury from a broken thermometer. Daguerre himself wrote about it: “I was so overwhelmed by many previous disappointments that did not even feel joy. Do not forget that this discovery came only after eleven years of disappointing experiments that oppressed my spirit.” Almost another two years left in search of the fixing composition – sodium chloride solution.
This still life picture Daguerre handed to the Louvre in 1837as proof of his success.
Daguerreotype – a way to directly obtain a positive image when shooting. It is the first practical method of photography. It lies in the fact that the silvered copper plate is carefully polished, then just before the shooting was treated with iodine vapor, resulting in a thin layer of light-sensitive silver iodide. Under the action of light in this layer appears a latent image, shown by mercury vapor. The resulting image is fixed with a solution of sodium thiosulfate. This method lasted until the invention of moist collodion process in 1851. It was necessary to extract tens of minutes to capture the silver plate of any kind at least in general terms. Take pictures of people was practically impossible. To take a picture of a man, his face was “whiteout” with chalk and the hair was sprinkled with powder – more rays of light reflected from the face and hair fell in the camera obscura then. Even so, it was necessary to sit before the camera in the sun for a long time. Drawing on the plate was difficult to consider: unpleasantly struck high gloss image. In addition, the image was very fragile, easily erased at the slightest touch.
August 19, 1839 way daguerreotype was announced at a joint meeting of the two academies – Science and Fine Arts. A brochure describing the process during the year stood 29 editions in France and six abroad, and enthusiasm for a daguerreotype was universal and in a few weeks it was spread throughout the world.
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