Up until the mid 1800s it was impossible to permanently capture an image without sufficient artistic talent. The creation of the camera obscura made it possible to capture a permanent image with far less talent, the artist only needed to trace the image that appeared on a blank sheet of paper. After developing a method of reproducing drawing through heliography, Joseph Niépce was the first person to successfully use the camera obscura by capturing the reflected image of a treated sheet of copper. Soon after fellow photographer Louis Daguerre learned of this discovery, he attempted to contact Niépce in hopes of combining efforts in developing the art of photography. After a few years of hiding each of their secrets, Daguerre and Niépce joined efforts. Their partnership lasted four years until Niépce died, and Daguerre continued on in the development of the photographic process.

Camera Obscura

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Courtesy of: (http://courses.essex.ac.uk/lt/lt204/camera_obscura.gif)

Joseph Nicephore Niépce

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Courtesy of: http://www.daguerre.org/resource/exhibit/images/Image2.jpg
Courtesy of: http://www.daguerre.org/resource/exhibit/images/Image2.jpg