View from the Window at Le Gras by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Photo via J. Paul Getty Museum
In 1826 or 1827 French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a camera obscura and a photographic process of his own design to record the view outside his window on a specially-coated pewter plate. The plate, entitled View from the Window at Le Gras, is considered the oldest surviving photograph taken with a camera. Niépce’s photographic process, which he dubbed heliography, failed to catch on. But Niépce’s collaborator Louis Daguerre would go on to develop the daguerreotype, which was unveiled in 1839 and became the first widely used photographic process. Three of Niépce’s heliographic plates will be displayed at Drawn By Light, an exhibition of photographs from the Royal Photographic Society collection at the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK, March 20 to June 21, 2015.
Un Clair de Lune by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, circa 1827. Photo via Nationa Media Museum
Le Cardinal d’Amboise by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, 1826. Photo via Nationa Media Museum
Christ Carrying his Cross by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, 1827. Photo via Nationa Media Museum