February 28, 2016
There was a time where it was hard to imagine or dream of a concept that would let you capture a permanent image apart from a painting. A favorite movie quote of mine is the sarcastic "perhaps an oil painting would be in order" said in reference to a moment someone thought should be memorialized.
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's 1826-27 permanent photograph changed all this with his View from the Window at LeGras, an 8 hour exposure. Niepce came up with the idea of treating a metal plate with a chemical substance, exposing it to light (through the camera obscura concept). After the exposure, the chemical coating was washed in a bath of solvent removing that part of the coating that had not been hardened by the sunlight. That same principle is still used today, 189 years later. What started out as a way to capture an image created a new art form.
I've mentioned this before but I'm glad to have been a part of the film and digital photography eras.
Pictured this week is the Kansas City studio of Thomas Hart Benton.