Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Say Fromage

The fellow above is our 93rd hero of the day, and his name is Louis Daguerre born this day in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France. The fact that there is a picture of M. Daguerre is, in part, thanks to him. He is most famous for, and heoric beacuse of his invention of a way to capture images onto a mirror-polished surface of silver bearing a coating of silver halide particles deposited by iodine vapor. Which is a long winded way of saying he made pretty pictures possible. He is also credited with inventing the Diorama, a mobile theatre device. The world's first permanent photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph NiƩpce, who soon became M. Daguerre's partner. The first photo of a human being was taken in late 1838, or early 1839, and it shows the Boulevard du Temple, and a man standing still long enough (about 10 minuets) for the exposure to capture him (he was getting his shoes shined). M. Daguerre's contribution to the world was the 19th century equivalent of the Polaroid, being able to produce a single image only, but it was still a great leap forward. So, today when you get drunk and MMS some friend of you a picture of you ass over your cell phone, you have M. Daguerre and his successors to thank. For he and his competitors where the first people to think that preserving a scene in a "photograph" might be a good plan, and I am sure numerous portrait painters had to find other means of making a living. So for getting the world to say cheese, Louis Daguerre (November 18th, 1787- July 10th, 1851 at the age of 53), you are my hero of the day.


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