British photographic history

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The First Photograph: The Niepce Processes

Event Details

The First Photograph: The Niepce Processes

Time: November 7, 2011 to November 10, 2011
Location: George Eastman House
Street: 900 East Avenue
City/Town: Rochester, NY 14607
Website or Map:…
Phone: (585) 271-3361
Event Type: workshop
Organized By: George Eastman House
Latest Activity: Apr 17, 2011

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Event Description

If you’ve read the history of photography or taken a photo history class, you know something about the oldest known photographic images made by Joseph Nicéphore Niepce. Niepce’s heliographs were made with a light-sensitive coating of asphalt on glass, stone, and metal plates. Later, Niepce and his junior partner Louis Daguerre collaborated to invent a second polymer process called the physautotype, which was made with rosin on glass or silver plates. These strongly resemble the daguerreotype, invented a few years later. Only a handful of asphalt heliographs exist today (one in the United States, the others in France) and no physautotypes have ever been discovered in modern times. 

Process historian Mark Osterman will teach the fascinating evolution of these rare techniques and guide the participants through the steps to make actual contact heliographs and physautotypes in this unique hands-on workshop that explores the very first permanent photographic processes. This workshop is a must for students and teachers of the history of photography. It will be of special interest for artists looking for yet another way to make photographic images without silver halides.

Participants will receive complete modern instructions and a facsimile reprint of the section in Daguerre’s 1839 manual where directions to produce both of Niepce’s processes were first published as part of the original partnership agreement between Niepce and Daguerre.

Limited to 10 participants.

Tuition: $700 members, $750 non-members, plus $60 materials fee.

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