Heliography

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This article is about the photographic process. For other uses, see Heliography (disambiguation).
Earliest known surviving heliographic engraving, 1825, printed from a metal plate made by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce with his "heliographic process".[1] The plate was exposed under an ordinary engraving and copied it by photographic means. This was a step towards first permanent photograph from nature, taken with a camera obscura, in 1826.

Heliography (in French, héliographie) is the photographic process invented by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce around 1822,[1] which he used to make the earliest known permanent photograph from nature, View from the Window at Le Gras (c. 1826). The process used Bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring asphalt, as a coating on glass or metal. It hardened in proportion to its exposure to light. When the plate was washed with oil of lavender, only the hardened areas remained.

The word has also been used to refer to other phenomena: for description of the sun (cf. geography), for photography in general, for signalling by heliograph (a device less commonly called a heliotrope or helio-telegraph), and for photography of the sun.[2]

The abbreviations héliog. or héliogr., found on old reproductions, may stand for the French word héliogravure, and can then refer to any form of photogravure.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The First Photograph — Heliography". Retrieved 2009-09-29. "from Helmut Gernsheim's article, "The 150th Anniversary of Photography," in History of Photography, Vol. I, No. 1, January 1977: ...In 1822, Niépce coated a glass plate... The sunlight passing through... This first permanent example... was destroyed... some years later." 
  2. ^ Descriptions of the sun, photography in general, and signalling by heliotrope: Oxford English Dictionary 2nd ed. (1989) s.v. "Heliography". Photography of the sun: As used by and in discussion of Hiroshi Yamazaki.

Other Sources[edit]