Did you know the first camera invented and if you want your picture to be taken by it, you need to sit for at least eight hours. The First Photograph, “View from the Window at Le Gras“ or more specifically, the earliest known surviving photograph made in a camera, was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827. The image depicts the view from an upstairs window at Niépce’s estate, Le Gras, in the Burgundy region of France.
How he did that?
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce captured the picture with a camera obscura focused onto a 16.2 cm × 20.2 cm (6.4 in × 8.0 in) pewter plate thinly coated with naturally occurring asphalt called Bitumen of Judea. The bitumen hardened in the brightly lit areas, but in the dimly lit areas it remained soluble and could be washed away with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum.
A very long exposure in the camera was required. Sunlight strikes the buildings on opposite sides, suggesting an exposure that lasted about eight hours, which has become the traditional estimate. A researcher who studied Niépce’s notes and recreated his processes found that the exposure must have continued for several days.
What’s the Scientific Analysis?
During a study and conservation project, at the Getty Conservation Institute, scientists examined the photograph using X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy, reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and other techniques. They agreed and confirmed that the image consists of bitumen and that the metal plate is pewter (tin alloyed with lead, as well as trace amounts of iron, copper, and nickel).
Further the scientists from the Louvre Museum in 2007 published an analysis of the photograph using iron beam analysis, with data taken on their 2 MV electrostatic accelerator. This showed the details of the oxidation process that was corroding the image.
Where it was listed?
In the year of 2003, Life, that was an American magazine that ran weekly from 1883 to 1936 as a humor magazine with limited circulation listed “View from the Window at Le Gras“ among the top 10 photographs that changed the world.