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Old January 17 2011, 12:39 AM   #4
Locutus of Bored
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One of the two earliest known evidences of seminal photographic activity, made by Nicéphore Niépce in 1825 by the heliograph process. This illustration is of an etching printed from a metal plate that was etched following alteration of the ground by sunlight; the image is of a 17th Century Flemish engraving showing a man leading a horse.

Niépce took what is believed to be the world’s first photogravure etching, in 1822, of an engraving of Pope Pius VII, but the original was later destroyed when he attempted to duplicate it. The earliest surviving photogravure etchings by Niépce are of a 17th century engraving of a man with a horse and of an engraving of a woman with a spinning wheel. Niépce did not have a steady enough hand to trace the inverted images created by the camera obscura, as was popular in his day, so he looked for a way to capture an image permanently. He experimented with lithography, which led him in his attempt to take a photograph using a camera obscura.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nic%C3%A9phore_Ni%C3%A9pce
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