Past in Perspective

“For me, the camera is a sketch book,
an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
–Henri Cartier-Bresson

The invention of cameras was one that took the world up by a storm. The world-changing discovery was made rather suddenly, in 1816 when the French inventor Nicephore Niepce created a sample camera using a paper coated with silver chloride. This paper was used to produce a negative image but that negative image was not permanent. Through experiments using ‘Bitumen of Judea’, permanent photos were created that remain to this day as well. The way this was made possible was through using a semi-solid form of oil that appears like tar. When mixed with pewter, it was found to be the perfect material for Nicephore to employ. Through the obscura box then, he could create a permanent image on surfaces, even though it was blurred. This process was coined to be heliography.

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