Saturday, September 6, 2008

George Sand and the history of photography

I was preparing a semi-modern postcard the other day of La Vallée Noire, photographs of George Sand surrounded by some of the places she had written about. This got me wondering about the dates of the first photographs in existence. So with the help of Google and Wikipedia I did a little research and found this site, which shows several firsts in the history of photography. Images have been captured since as long ago as 965. The first photograph as we think of it required an 8 hour exposure back in 1826 (that would limit the admissions to flickr albums). Anyway back to George, her photograph was taken in 1864. Now I must start reading her books

Rob wondered about photographs of Charles Dickens a few days before. I found one taken in 1867/8


Debbie K said...

Hi Anji
I seem to recall myself appearing in some sepia coloured photographs. Some days I feel over a 100 years old! If you look in the background of some of those delightful images you may just spot a young Debbie.

I hope your part of France is a lot sunnier than the UK this year, The whole summer has lacked warm colours.

Take care

Peter (Worldman): said...

You imagine: 8 hours of exposure. As you say, no way for flickr. And I am sure that at time they did not make pictures of weddings. Or small kids having birthdays.

By the way, the electronic cigarette is supposed to wean me off.

Dru Marland said...

I've been in sepia photos, but only because I sepia-d them myself with some highly toxic chemicals. You got me thinking of early photos and I pulled out my big book from the Royal Photographic Society, who live just down the road in Bath, and looked again at the portrait of Christina, which I've stuck on my blog so shan't describe further here.

Connections, connections. For some reason I also started thinking about those human shadows left by the bomb at Hiroshima, which were a form of flash photography. Feeling too bloody apocalyptic today.

Anji said...

Debbie: I'll look out for you ;)
We've had bad weather all summer too. It's been very windy for the past couple of days - I wonder what autumn will bring.

Peter: I can imagine children at a birthday party being asked to wait 8 hours for the photographer. How are you getting along with your electronic cigarette?

Dru: I visited your site before I saw your comment. it is a beautiful picture, it's led me onto some interesting bits and pieces.

Dare I mention the Turin shroud?

Donna said...

I love these old photos...I have a cool website on my blog that just deals with Only old photos...check it out! Happy day sweetie!hughugs

Dru Marland said...

shroud? -pourquois pas?
It was reading this posdt that inspied me in turn to dig out that photo. Cross-fertilisation or summat. Good show.

alan said...

The earliest portrait photographers would use appliances a lot like a dentist's chair to hold people in poses...I can't imagine having my head clamped for a photograph!

No shutters, pop the lens cap and count the seconds or use your pocket watch...amazing things they did, most of them highly toxic as well!

Louis Daguerre and mercury vapor, anyone?


Anji said...

Donna: I will - eventually - not keeping up with anything much at the moment.

Dru: I did appreciate that beautiful picture%

Alan: sounded like a dangerous occupation. Not easy to smile sweetly with your head clamped!

alan said...

Yes, and many of those early photographers died from breathing the vapors involved in the processes of the day.

My own father's death 25 years ago from cancer might be traceable to hours spent in his darkroom with the open tray of formaldehyde that was the last step in the Kodak color process of that time...


Anji said...

Alan:I'm sorry to hear about your father. We think that our father was probably exposed to chemicals he used on the farm (in the UK). He would have been exposed to DDT and other nasty things. Not long after he died the French govenment started a study into cancers in farmers, I haven't seen or heard any results yet.