Serious Portraits of 'Everyman' ...

On January 7, 1839, astonished members of the French Académie des Sciences were shown Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre's (1787–1851) singular experiments with (what would later be termed) photography. Photography seemed miraculous, nature given the power to record herself, the magic mirror, the fixation of the very light that had passed reflected through the lens. However, there was some disappointment that portraits were, in those early stages at least, almost impossible due to the length of exposure. That obstacle was soon overcome as better equipment and the development of the latent image paved the way for shorter exposure times. Photography, along with so many other manifestations of the ge

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