Past in Perspective

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
–Karl Lagerfeld

The first photo taken in history was titled ‘View from the Window at Le Gras’. It was taken by Nicephore Niepce in a commune in France somewhere between 1826 and 1827. The process of taking the photo was much more complicated than it is today. To capture the moment in time, Niepce needed a light-sensitive material so that the outdoor light would etch the image for him. He finally found the perfect formula to be a combination of bitumen of Judea, a type of asphalt, and spread it over this pewter plate. He let the material sit in a camera obscura for eight hours and the result of this was the first photo ever taken. He called it heliography, the art of ‘light writing’. While it seems rather unfathomable that such a complicated and time-consuming process was used for taking picture, this process led the technology that would enable us to take photos at the touch of a button in today’s day and age.

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