3 Tutorials that teach Early Photography
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Early Photography

Early Photography

Author: Aleisha Olson
This lesson will examine the invention of photography and some examples of early photography.
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This lesson discusses the earliest methods of photography and looks at the use of the direct positive process by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and Louis Daguerre, the development of negative prints by William Henry Fox Talbot, and the works of Oscar Rejlander as an early example of Pictorialism.

Notes on "Early Photography"

Terms to Know

Pinhole Camera

A simple camera without a lens and a single aperture. Basically, a lightproof box with a small hole in one side containing a piece of photographic paper.

Camera Obscura

Literally a vaulted or darkened chamber/room; an optical device that projects an image of the surroundings on a screen or wall.

Direct Positive Process

Making a one of a kind photograph without the use of a negative. Daguerreotypes use this technique.


Invented by Louis J.M. Daguerre in France, 1839, the first commercial photographic process producing a permanent direct positive image on a copper plate without the use of a negative.

Negative Print

A photographic film that generates a negative of an image on a strip or sheet of film which can be used to process a reversed order image called a print.


Invented by William Henry Fox Talbot, 1839, it is the first photographic process using negatives and paper.



Image of Niépce, View from the Window at Le Gras, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:View_from_the_Window_at_Le_Gras,_Joseph_Nic%C3%A9phore_Ni%C3%A9pce.jpg; Image of Daguerre, Boulevard du Temple, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boulevard_du_Temple_by_Daguerre.jpg; Image of Talbot, Miss Horatia Fielding, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Talbot_Harfe.jpg; Image of Lucrecia Guerrero Uribe, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LucreciaGuerreroUribe_1848.jpg; Image of Rejlander, The Two Ways of Life, Public Domain, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oscar-gustave-rejlander_two_ways_of_life_%28HR,_sepia%29.jpg;