A daguerreotype is a mirror with a memory, a reflection of the history and the forgotten art

it is Difficult to imagine the modern world without a photo. Cameras from luxury and professional tool has become a routine, and modern gadgets are even of the child can make a professional photographer. And although modern methods of producing photos are incredible far from the earliest, daguerreotype, early photographic process that was the beginning of this art form.

What is a daguerreotype

This is not really a picture in the usual sense, it's more like a reflection of reality. A daguerreotype due to the presence of silver amalgam called the mirror with a memory. The image on the mirror is seen at a certain angle, and different angles you can see the negative and the positive. This creates a unique effect that simulates a realistic image that does not convey reproductions of vintage daguerreotypes.
by the Way, the latter property gives scope for different kinds of fraud. Among them, the daguerreotype Pushkin monochrome portrait of the poet, supposedly the real and only lifetime its the. However, a simple logical comparison of dates suggests that this is the fake or, as they say, fake. Pushkin died in a duel in February 1837, and the first daguerreotype image was acquired in France for a few months before, and Russia and around the world technology has become available only in 1839.


the First shots tried to do already in the 18th century, but without knowing the methods of fixing images, photographers have lost the meaning of their work. Only in 1837, chemist and inventor, Louis Daguerre, after years of searching discovered the ability of mercury vapors to develop the image made by the camera obscura. He called the first photo, your name and the first daguerreotype (more precisely, first to the people) he did in Paris in the spring of 1838, remembering from his window the Boulevard du temple.

Inspired by the success, Daguerre decided to sell the possibility of producing images by subscription, but its price was so high that there were no volunteers. Then Daguerre sold his invention to the French authorities. Those, in turn, appointed the Daguerre a lifetime pension, has transferred the technology to the General public and investigators from different countries began to arrive in France to learn the craft and art of daguerreotype did.

Technology for production of daguerreotype

to get a snapshot of the master, and posing had a lot to do. Initially, the daguerreotype is a silver-plated plate, which had to be polished. Do it thoroughly right before you start photographing pieces of fur or velvet. Further, in the perfect darkness of the plates were treated with vapors of bromine or iodine. With a special yellow light to be seen, as the plate gradually changes its color and by the time the concrete becomes light purple.
Next, the plate was inserted in the camera and using his cover was used for the exposure, which could take up to 15 minutes. If photographing people, all the while they stood and sat still, it was very difficult, especially when shooting outside under bright sun. If you were shooting street or building, the daguerreotype reflected only those objects which not too much moved and moved. That is, houses, trees, shoeshine boys on the street corner was etched, and passers-by and passing carriages.
At the end of exposure on the plate appeared hidden, until an invisible image, but later it was manifested under mercury vapor. Where the mercury is in contact with the silver, it turned out the amalgam and the more exposure, the more its layer. At the last stage of chemical compounds remove the silver that remained light sensitive, and covered the daguerreotype chloride of gold. Without the last phase of the shot was extremely short-lived - the resulting layer of amalgam was fragile and could be destroyed even by the touch.

a Daguerreotype in Russia - the history of photography in Russia

Innovation has spread very quickly, in the same month as Daguerre and the French government was told about technologies, Russian chemist Joseph gamel ' introduced a novelty in the Russian Empire. The first Russian daguerreotype is an image of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Soon after, the technology began to be applied everywhere.
Daguerreotype Studio of St. Petersburg, which was held by the brothers Corner was equipped with the latest technology glass roof allows you to get the right lighting and exposure, but defended posing from the blinding sun, he worked several camera obscure, for the entourage, there were different backdrops, furniture and knick-knacks, and even the metal supports for the head to pose for ten minutes was not so exhausting.

Modern daguerreotypes

Just twenty years existed the daguerreotype, soon it was replaced by more advanced technologies, however, and today, after almost two centuries, to this return art enthusiasts and fans of vintage photography.
However, to recreate today, in the 21st century technology is not easy. Starting from the secrets and subtleties of craftsmanship, dead, along with photographers, to chemical laws known only to scientists. Plus - the daguerreotype is dangerous and expensive. Fans celebrated in Russia and the complexity of finding the materials, for example, by compounds to fix the image in our country is simply impossible. Therefore, in Russia at various exhibitions and expositions, and issued for daguerreotypes and other technology that appeared much later. But abroad such masters there are, for example, Jerry Spagnoli, Chuck close, Barbara Galasso, and others.