The Daguerreotype Photography Process Just Turned 175 Years Old

Photo via Photohistory

Photo via Photohistory

One of the oldest photography processes just turned 175 years old. This process was developed way before film and film emulsions and in a time when medium and large format photography ruled the world. Back then, the standard in photography required you to use silver plates coated in a photographic emulsion and had to be individually prepared. When they were set, they were placed in a holder. The camera and lens were then focused on the subject. Then the subject was asked to keep very still and the plate loaded into the camera. Now it was time to shoot. A very long exposure was taken due to the narrow aperture needed to get anything in focus at all–so subjects had to remain very still.

When the shot was over, the plate holder and plate were brought into a darkroom and within around 10 minutes an image emerged on the plate. Different chemicals were added to fix the look a bit. We refrain from saying color because of the fact that color photography wasn’t quite around back then.

More history in the form of a video is after the jump.

Via Shooting Film, George Eastman House, Wikipedia