Daguerreotype portraits were made with conveniently prepared copper plates to fix images usually taken with a camera obscura. It was invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1837, and it was the first commercially successful photographic process that ever existed (remember the proliferation of post-mortem daguerreotypes during the Victorian era, or the famous portrait of Henry David Thoreau).

Its revelation process was an alchemic procedure that used mercury fumes and salts to fix the images on the plate, and thus was also extremely susceptible to tearing, dust, hairs, etc. This is why there deterioration is so evident and at the same time so special: no single mark of decay is like any other, each ghost disappears in their own unique way.

The daguerreotypes in decay could resemble mental images that never fully reach completion, like when we want to see someone’s face hidden behind our memory’s fog; or perhaps they are comparable to the reflection of our face on an old, spotted mirror. These 19th century characters captured by the format are transformed into a type of ghostly testimony of history and the passing of time. They disappeared from the world many years ago, and what remains of them is the spectral overtones left behind on plates.

The pieces shown here are part of the collection of Matthew Brady, one of the most renowned North American photographers of the 19th century. Also known as “the father of the post-period”, Brady devoted himself to documenting celebrities as well as the American Civil War.

.

8358126396_e6ae6dd047_o

8357062555_a9cd9d4501_o

8358126690_e585fee022_o

8357062871_4f6fc7c1e1_o

8358125984_711f3f4cf3_o

8357061715_7d23e5f9aa_o

8358124760_d8fb7d1301_o

8358124912_8a7cdb617d_o

8358125232_033144798e_o

8358125362_b802f99538_o 8357061555_682e7d7377_o 8358127716_4938aa2089_o 8358127876_5e8da2fc04_o 8358124350_cf1d883b0f_o 8358124490_5e3d7da6db_o

8357060635_0208120a00_o

8357063417_b92c2426d8_o

8358124186_7d59fb02f7_o

8357063619_a308854967_o

.

Daguerreotype portraits were made with conveniently prepared copper plates to fix images usually taken with a camera obscura. It was invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1837, and it was the first commercially successful photographic process that ever existed (remember the proliferation of post-mortem daguerreotypes during the Victorian era, or the famous portrait of Henry David Thoreau).

Its revelation process was an alchemic procedure that used mercury fumes and salts to fix the images on the plate, and thus was also extremely susceptible to tearing, dust, hairs, etc. This is why there deterioration is so evident and at the same time so special: no single mark of decay is like any other, each ghost disappears in their own unique way.

The daguerreotypes in decay could resemble mental images that never fully reach completion, like when we want to see someone’s face hidden behind our memory’s fog; or perhaps they are comparable to the reflection of our face on an old, spotted mirror. These 19th century characters captured by the format are transformed into a type of ghostly testimony of history and the passing of time. They disappeared from the world many years ago, and what remains of them is the spectral overtones left behind on plates.

The pieces shown here are part of the collection of Matthew Brady, one of the most renowned North American photographers of the 19th century. Also known as “the father of the post-period”, Brady devoted himself to documenting celebrities as well as the American Civil War.

.

8358126396_e6ae6dd047_o

8357062555_a9cd9d4501_o

8358126690_e585fee022_o

8357062871_4f6fc7c1e1_o

8358125984_711f3f4cf3_o

8357061715_7d23e5f9aa_o

8358124760_d8fb7d1301_o

8358124912_8a7cdb617d_o

8358125232_033144798e_o

8358125362_b802f99538_o 8357061555_682e7d7377_o 8358127716_4938aa2089_o 8358127876_5e8da2fc04_o 8358124350_cf1d883b0f_o 8358124490_5e3d7da6db_o

8357060635_0208120a00_o

8357063417_b92c2426d8_o

8358124186_7d59fb02f7_o

8357063619_a308854967_o

.

Tagged: , , , , ,