Continuing on from yesterday's Blog on Light I want to talk about another invention in the 1800s which also brought about a different way for us to see the world and its elements such as light and dark. This wasn’t the camera, in particular, as we learnt when talking about Caravaggio because primitive forms of cameras were around as early as the C16th. It was the invention of photography and the metal based daguerreotype process which was announced to the world in 1839 through the work of Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre. Amazing photos of light and shadows began to appear as the new photographers experimented with black and white images. And then William Henry Fox Talbot invented the paper-based calotype negative and the salt print processes (Wikipedia)

The first photograph of a human appeared as shown below in a snapshot captured by Louis Daguerre. The exposure lasted around 7 minutes and was aimed at capturing the Boulevard du Temple, a thoroughfare in Paris, France. Due to the long exposure time, many individuals who walked the street were not in place long enough to make an impression. However, in the lower left of the photograph we can see a man standing and getting his shoes polished. Further analysis of the picture later found a few other figures – can you find them?(Ref:

The first photograph of our sun was taken by French Physicists Louis Fizeau and Leon Foucault on April 2nd, 1845. The snapshot was captured using the Daguerreotype process and resulted after a 1/60 of a second. Apparently if you observe the photograph carefully you can spot several sunspots.(Ref:

Magnum Photos

*Henri Cartier-Bresson traveled to China for LIFE magazine twice, in 1948 and 1958, each time deftly capturing with a humanist eye the country at a time of political and economic change...Indeed, throughout Cartier-Bresson’s career it is his warm personal perspective that infuses his photographs with respect for all humankind.(Ref Artsy).

A Mezzotint is an engraving technique developed in the seventeenth century which allows for the creation of prints with soft gradations of tone and rich and velvety blacks. (Ref:

The Hero Image today is another mezzotint by Frederick Mershimer inspired by his Brooklyn neighbourhood.