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It's that time of the year again, when we celebrate the world's first medium that helped us preserve our visual memories through technology, and without which even videos would not have been a thing. It's time to wish Happy World Photo Day 2016!

World Photo Day is celebrated on Aug. 19 every year, because that was the day in 1839 that the French Academy of Sciences announced to the world the photographic technique known as daguerreotype, one of the first of its kind in the world. It had been developed by  French individual named Louis-Jaques-Mandé Daguerre, hence the name daguerreotype.


The process involved several steps. First, a sheet of copper, plated with silver, would have to be polished till it shone like a mirror, and then treated with fumes that would make the surface photo-sensitive. Then, this surface would have to be exposed in a camera for a considerable amount of time for the photo to become an impression, depending on the lighting available.

The resulting impression on the surface would be "developed" by fuming it with vapours of mercury. Then, the surface's photo-sensitivity would be removed with a mix of chemicals, and then it would be cleaned and dried. The resulting sheet would then be framed behind glass.

We have since then come a long way, with the process now being reduced to taking out a smartphone, opening an app and clicking away! After all, a photo is a photo, and that is what World Photo Day celebrates. And all this development and advancement was possible just because the French government had bought the patent of the daguerreotype and made the technology available for free! That, and the fact that daguerreotype was the first practical photographic technique led to its announcement date being chosen to mark World Photo Day.

You can share your photos with the world in WorldPhotoDay website. 

Read more about Daguerre and the Invention of Photography. Click Here

The earliest reliably dated photograph of people, taken by Daguerre one spring morning in 1838 from the window of the Diorama, where he lived and worked. It bears the caption huit heure du matin (8 a.m.). 

(Source: Wikipedia)

Watch a video about Early Photography:

Making Daguerreotypes

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