The First Photo
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made the first photograph on record in 1826. He captured a crude image of his south France country estate by coating a pewter plate with an asphalt called bitumen of Judea, which hardened when exposed for along time to the sun's rays. The camera was of the pinhole type, since optics had not yet been applied to cameras. After 8 hours of exposure, the plate was washed with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum, leaving the faint image of his courtyard in relief. Visible in the photo are rooflines of nearby buildings, trees, and the horizon, complete with shadowing.