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The first-ever photograph. Mark Blezard

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Who took the world's first photograph?

We will never know for sure, but this photograph titled 'View from the Window at Le Gras' is believed to be it.

It dates back to circa 1826/27 and was taken in France by Nicéphore Niépce. Naturally, being the first-ever photograph, Nicéphore was also responsible for making his own photographic plate using a sheet of pewter covered with a light-sensitive material. It took several attempts before he managed to produce a suitable emulsion that worked.

The petroleum-based substance sat in the back of his homemade camera for eight hours. Clearly, not quite a 'hand-held' camera just yet! The light gradually hardened the sensitive bitumen, the highlights hardening more quickly, and the first photograph was slowed recorded.

Development was a simple washing process to remove the hardened parts of the bitumen to reveal the final image; the view from the window of his home in Burgundy.

Photography history by Mark Blezard
Is this the first ever photograph?

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