Nicephore Niepce—Inventor of photography! I only owe him my passion and hobby. No biggie. He started out studying chemistry and physics, which were his passions, at Oratorian Brothers. There was quite a lot of both of those passions involved in the invention of photography, between figuring out how to stabilize and fix images projected onto the back of a camera obscura and then the development of the image with pigments on certain metals. Niepce achieved success in 1827 with “Point de vue de la fenetre,” the first photograph, which was created on tin. After this, images were preserved on polished silver plates after exposing the latent image to iodine vapors. On July 5th 1833, Niépce died suddenly, none of his inventions having being officially acknowledged.
Louis Daguerre—Daguerre had been working on a way to capture images from the camera obsura since 1820. He began working with Niepce in 1829. After Niepce’s death in 1833, Daguerre continued this work, and finally presented, in 1839, the process of what he called a ‘daguerreotype.’ It consisted of a photographic image on a highly polished, silver-plated sheet of copper, sensitized with iodine vapors, exposed in a large box camera, developed in mercury fumes, and stabilized (or fixed) with salt water.
Fox-Talbot— In 1839, just after Louis Daguerre displayed his 'Daguerreotypes' pictures on silver plates to the French Academy of Sciences. Fox Talbot reported his 'art of photogenic drawing' to the Royal Society. His process based the prints on paper that had been made light sensitive, rather than bitumen or copper-paper. Fox Talbot went on to develop the three primary elements of photography: developing, fixing, and printing. Although simply exposing photographic paper to the light produced an image, it required extremely long exposure times. By accident, he discovered that there was an image after a very short exposure. Although he could not see it, he found he could chemically develop it into a useful negative. The image on this negative was then fixed with a chemical solution. This removed the light-sensitive silver and enabled the picture to be viewed in bright light. With the negative image, Fox Talbot realized he could repeat the process of printing from the negative. Consequently, his process could make any number of positive prints, unlike the Daguerreotypes. He called this the 'calotype' and patented the process in 1841. The following year was rewarded with a medal from the Royal Society for his work.
Hippolyte Bayard— By March 1839, Bayard had invented the process of direct positive photography on paper. The process itself was relatively straightforward. First, the paper was treated with sodium chloride. After drying, the paper was submerged in silver nitrate to create silver chloride, which is sensitive to light. The paper was then exposed to light until it turned black, washed, dried, and then stored in a portfolio until needed. Before the paper could be used, it had to be saturated in potassium iodide, placed into the camera, and then received light exposure. After being treated in sodium thiosulfate and placed in a bath of ammonia and water, a positive photographic image would appear on the paper. Unfortunately for Mr. Bayard, because he never published his process, which actually produced sharper images than William Henry Fox Talbot's negative photography, his invention was quickly surpassed by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre's daguerreotype, which had the important political patronage that Mr. Bayard's process lacked. It has therefore perhaps unfairly been relegated to little more than an historical footnote.
Julia Margaret Cameron— She took up photography as an amateur—like I did, and like a lot of us probably did—and sought to apply it to the noble noncommercial aims of art, she immediately viewed her activity as a professional one, vigorously copyrighting, exhibiting, publishing, and marketing her photographs. Within eighteen months she had sold eighty prints to the Victoria and Albert Museum, established a studio in two of its rooms, and made arrangements with the West End printseller Colnaghi's to publish and sell her photographs. Cameron possessed an extraordinary ability to imbue her photographs with a powerful spiritual content, the quality that separates them from the products of commercial portrait studios of her time. In a dozen years of work, effectively ended by the Camerons' departure for Ceylon in 1875, the artist produced perhaps 900 images—a gallery of vivid portraits and a mirror of the Victorian soul.
Lady Clementina Howarden— Lady Clementian was a noted portrait photographer of the 1860s. Hawarden first began to experiment with photography in 1857, taking stereoscopic landscape photographs before moving to large-format, stand-alone portraits of her daughters. She exhibited her work with the Photographic Society of London in 1863 and 1864, under the titles 'Studies from Life' and 'Photographic Studies', and was awarded the Society's silver medal in both years.
Nadar— pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (6 April 1820, Paris – 23 March 1910), a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist and balloonist. From 1895 until his return to Paris in 1909, the Nadar photo studio was in Marseilles. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadar_(photographer)_
Gustave Le Gray— Le Gray originally trained as a painter, studying under François-Édouard Picot and Paul Delaroche. He even exhibited at the salon in 1848 and 1853. He then crossed over to photography in the early years of its development.
He made his first daguerreotypes by 1847. His early photographs included portraits; scenes of nature such as Fontainebleau Forest; and buildings such as châteaux of the Loire Valley. He taught photography to students such as Charles Nègre, Henri Le Secq, Nadar, Olympe Aguado, and Maxime Du Camp. In 1851 he became one of the first five photographers hired for the Missions Héliographiques to document French monuments and buildings. In that same year he helped found the Société Héliographique, the "first photographic organization in the world". Le Gray published a treatise on photography, which went through four editions, in 1850, 1851, 1852, and 1854. In 1855 Le Gray opened a "lavishly furnished" studio. At that time, becoming progressively the official photographer of Napoleon III, he became a successful portraitist. His most famous work dates from this period, 1856 to 1858, especially his seascapes.
Diane Arbus— Started out as a fashion photographer, and abandoned that in 1956 to pursue her own work. In 1960, her first published photgraphs appeared in Esquire. Three years later, she received her first Guggenheim Fellowship for her project AMERICAN. She was an instructor at Parson School of Design and at Rhode Island School of Design until 1966; in 1966 she was awarded another Guggenheim Fellowship. Starting in 1968, Arbus was a an instructor of photography at Cooper Union. In 1970, she returned to teaching at RISD, and received the Robert Leavitt Award. She remained an instructor at RISD until her death in July of 1971. Her photo, Castle in Disneyland, is one of my favorites that I came across in my search for her. I like it because at first it looks like a stereotypical haunted castle somewhere in Europe… one doesn’t associate an image like this with Disney, where everything is bright and colorful, and, let’s be honest, chaotic. I think it is the combination of the coloring—black and white—and the fact that the place looks deserted that really makes this photo such a different view of Disney, and that fascinates me.
Susan Sontag— Born in New York City, and raised in Arizona and California, Susan Sontag was educated at the University of Chicago, Harvard, Oxford and the Sorbonne; She is novelist, philosopher, essayist, movie director and playwright, over the past thirty years she has been a controversial figure, too snobby for many of her critics, but always ready for a veritably "down to earth" engagement wherever and whenever human free expression is at stake. Her own films are deeply inspired by modernist style. The first two, Duet for Cannibals (1969) and Brother Carl (1971), both shot and produced in Sweden, bear clear influences of Bergman's reflections about the impossibility of human communication. Letter from Venice (1983) is an elegiac documentary of a mental tour of melancholia, while "Promised Lands" is a shocking documentary about Israel/Palestine that managed to outrage both the pro-Israelis and the pro-Palestinians at the time of its release in the mid 1970's. Since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1975 (which she eventually overcame during several years of treatment), she has been involved in thinking and writing about the role of disease (TB, cancer, AIDS) in contemporary Western society.
Sacha Goldberger— Born in 1968, Goldberger has only been on the photography scene for a year. Last summer, Sacha Goldberger decided he would take on a very interesting project. He assembled a team who helped him create an outdoor studio at Bois de Boulogne, a park located near Paris that's 2 1/2 times the size of New York's Central Park. He stopped joggers, asking them for a favor - would they sprint for him and then pose right after for his camera? Many obliged. Out of breath, these joggers showed an overwhelming amount of fatigue on their faces. Goldberger then asked these same people to come into his professional studio exactly one week later. Using the same light, he asked them to pose the same way they had before. "I wanted to show the difference between our natural and brute side versus how we represent ourselves to society," Goldberger said. "The difference was very surprising."
I’ve added another photo to this blog, purely because I love this particular collection. It’s real, and it proves that no one looks attractive when they work out, so we can all rest easy knowing that we aren’t alone in our nasty, sweaty, tired looks.