Daguerreotype Photographing

Left: Daguerreotypiutstyr (photo: Helle K. Hagen/Preus museum) Right: Carl Neupert, daguerreotype of a woman with a child

Daguerreotype photographed by Carl Neupert

Carl Neupert, portrait of a woman with a little girl in her lap, 1844-46, daguerreotype

The process

Daguerreotype equipment from the collection (photo: Helle K. Hagen/Preus museum)

Mirror Effect

Photograph that shows the Mirror effect in a dagerreotype (photo: Jens Gold/Preus museum)

Daguerreotype Photographing

Daguerreotype was the first usable photographic process.

It was invented by French Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre and Nicephore Niepce. The French Academy of Sciences announced the invention in January 1839 and the process was given for free use on August 19 the same year. This is considered the photography birthday. Daguerreotypes are negatives on a silvered copper plate, which is emerging as positive copies. They may not be reproduced and is therefore unique - there's only one of each photograph.

Daguerreotype photographed by Carl Neupert

This small daguerreotype was photographed by Carl Neupert (1803-1857) in Christiania in the 1840s.

The woman keeps a firm grip on her daughter, probably so she would sit quietly in the shooting moment. Neupert is one of the first photographers in Norway. He was probably born in Schleswig-Holstein in 1803. After completing the study by Carl Ferdinand Stelzner in Hamburg he came to Norway. He was working, not only in Christiania, but also in Kristiansand, Bergen and Trondheim. later on he traveled to Finland, which at this point was a principality under the Russian Tsar. The museum's collection also contains a woman portrait taken by Neupert in Helsinki in 1848.

The process

The invention of the daguerreotype was published in the French Academy of Sciences on 19 August 1839.

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre is (along with Nicephore Niepce) the inventor of the first photographic process and it was therefore named after him. The photography was done directly on a silver plated metal plate.

Mirror Effect

The photography was taken directly on a silver plated metal plate. First, you had to polish the plate until it was shiny, then you made it photosensitive by using iodine vapor (silver iodide).

To obtain a more light sensitive plate, you could also use bromine (silver bromide). The silver plate was, after the exposure, induced over mercury vaper. The plate was then, after the fixation, sealed with a glass plate and placed in a case. The image appears as both a positive and a negative depending on the viewing angle. Each picture is a unique photograph. Daguerreotype was in use between 1839 and 1857, and it was particularly popular in America.

Left: Daguerreotypiutstyr (photo: Helle K. Hagen/Preus museum) Right: Carl Neupert, daguerreotype of a woman with a child

Carl Neupert, portrait of a woman with a little girl in her lap, 1844-46, daguerreotype

Daguerreotype equipment from the collection (photo: Helle K. Hagen/Preus museum)

Photograph that shows the Mirror effect in a dagerreotype (photo: Jens Gold/Preus museum)