Pigeon House and Barn 1827

As early as 1793, Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude imagined a photographic process, and over the next several years, Nicéphore experimented with various light-sensitive substances and cameras. In 1824 he produced a view from his window on a metal plate covered with asphalt. That and most other pictures fashioned by Niépce in the 1820s no longer exist, but the fuzzy image of a pigeon house and a barn roof taken in the summer of 1827 is a good representation of Niépce’s art. To make what he called a “heliograph,” or sun drawing, Niépce employed an exposure time of more than eight hours. Photography, if not yet practical, had been invented.

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