I woke up this morning to see that Google had produced a front page “Doodle” in honor of Louis Daguerre’s 224th birthday. While I admit to being puzzled as to the significance of his 224th birthday (why not wait for 225?), nonetheless it piqued my interest. As some readers may know, through the 80’s and 90’s I was privileged to work as a commercial photographer for many of the world’s leading high tech companies. What some may find surprising is that my interest in photography began largely as a result of a fascination with old photographs and the window they provided into a very different world.
Daguerre’s creation changed the way mankind saw the planet… not just through the introduction of the photograph, but also by changing the scope of the visual arts.
Introduced in 1839, the Daguerreotype photo process started a 20 year sequence of events that resulted in more and more simple photographic processes, and ultimately in the art of Picasso. Not bad for a chemical process that yields a fragile image that can only be viewed at an angle.