Louis Daguerre by liam, alice and fraser

Intro to Daguerre

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851), a Romantic painter and printmaker most famous until then as the proprietor of the Diorama, a popular Parisian spectacle featuring theatrical painting and lighting effects. Each daguerreotype (as Daguerre dubbed his invention) was a one-of-a-kind image on a highly polished, silver-plated sheet of copper. In 1829, he had formed a partnership with Nicéphore Niépce, who had been working on the same problem—how to make a permanent image using light and chemistry—and who had achieved primitive but real results as early as 1826.

In England, Richard Beard (1801-1885), a former coal merchant and patent speculator, bought the patent to Alexander Wolcott's mirror camera and employed the services of John Frederick Goddard (1795-1866), a chemist, to find a way of reducing exposure times to less than a few minutes, thereby making it possible to take daguerreotype portraits. On 23rd March 1841, Richard Beard opened England’s first daguerreotype portrait studio in London's Regent Street. In June 1841, Beard purchased from Daguerre the patent rights to the daguerreotype process in England.

How To Recreate Daguerrotypes on Photoshop

Due to the long exposure of a daguerreotype, we need to make our photos look blurred in the correct places. For example, water features would be a silky white colour. We will also have to manipulate our photo onto some sort of a metal plate surface as well as create the correct chemical staining - often a orangey colour. Most importantly, shoot a long exposure. Having to edit water or the sky into looking like a long exposure is often hard work, save yourself hours by shooting a little longer. Secondly don't worry about the colour. You are going to change it to black and white anyway.If you are shooting a landscape, remember that people are unlikely to have stood in the same place and therefore in the cameras "eyes" will be invisible. If you have people in your photograph I would suggest cloning them out at the outset.When shooting a real Daguerreotype, you would have shot the image onto a silver surface. Therefore we need to add the surface scratches that the plate would have most likely occurred over the years. Make sure the texture is black and white and then simply place your texture over the image and then play around the layer modes. Overlay, soft light or screen I found worked best depending on the texture. You might also have to play around with the opacity. If you look at a daguerreotype gallery you will notice that most, if not every, picture seems to have a slight sepia tone to them. Therefore I add a warming photo filter. You can find it under Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. Often the default filter is the warming filter and is perfect. You may wish to turn down the opacity. When dealing with chemicals, often the edges of the image became stained. This again was often an orange or blue colour, due to the oxidation of the silver plate.

So on a new layer using a large soft brush, paint some orange circles (#ff9700). Reduce the opacity to between 10-30%. Then repeat this again with a blue colour. Remember that this staining would be more intense in certain areas than others. It was certainly not even. I also noticed a large number of real daguerreotypes contain a light vignette. In order to add your own, simply create a new layer and then go Image > Apply Image. Then go Filter > Lens correction. Under the custom panel you should find the vignette tool. Simply play around with the sliders until you are happy. Now this stage is really optional. If you want to make your design look completely real I would suggest following it through. First of all, purchase some metallic paper, I would suggest Kodak Professional Endura Metallic VC Digital Paper. The only problem is that the paper is very expensive and very hard to get hold of. I found a typical roll of paper would set you back between $100-200.

In addition, finding a high quality printer that wouldn't smudge is also a problem. Overall if you don't own the greatest printer, you might be better just asking an external company to do everything for you. I found that companies charge from around $10+ per image depending on size.

Created By
liam Caldwell
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Created with images by dianecordell - "Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre"

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