This is a very very special photograph. You can also call it the ancestor of all the photographs in the world because it is the first photograph ever taken! Taken in 1826 by the Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce, this photograph is known as “View from the Window at Le Gras”.
Niépce, known as father of photography, used a camera obscura to take this photograph. A camera obscura is a device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. Niépce focused his camera obscura onto a sheet of 20 × 25 cm oil-treated bitumen. As a result of the 8-hour exposure, sunlight illuminated the buildings on both sides. This became the first ever permanent photograph.
Niépce gave the photo to Francis Bauer, an English botanical illustrator. Bauer died in 1840 and until 1905 this photograph kept appearing here and there. But after 1905 this photograph went into oblivion.
Helmut Gernsheim again brought the photo to prominence in 1952 and the Eastman Kodak Company made a copy of it. In 1973, the University of Texas acquired the plate from Helmut Gernsheim. The university put the plate on display at its Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.
Life magazine listen this photograph among the “100 Photographs that Changed the World”. Other photographs that made to this list include Earthrise, first x-ray image, The Horse in Motion and Migrant Mother etc.
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