Daguerreotype portrait of an unidentified man, believed to be a Hawaiian missionary, with his hand on the Hiram Bingham book “A Residence of Twenty-One Years in the Sandwich Islands,” c. 1850.



Timeless Analog-Digital Images from @scottirvine57 and @kimmibird

To see more of Scott and Kim’s timeless images combining both old and new techniques, follow @scottirvine57 and @kimmibird on Instagram.

“I still believe that film has a magic to it,” says Scott Irvine (@scottirvine57). Self-described as a latecomer to digital and mobile photography, he still uses vintage analog equipment and maintains a traditional darkroom for professional photographers in Brooklyn, New York.

“Early on, I was frustrated that techniques and styles that had taken me years to learn in a darkroom setting were now available as apps, for everyone. I have since embraced these digital ideas, and incorporated them into my work,” Scott says. “I love the idea of bouncing back and forth between digital and analog mediums. I have experimented with creating negatives from some of my iPhone images, bringing them into the darkroom to print using analog techniques, then back to a digital format like Instagram.”

He shares this visual language with his wife and fellow photographer, Kim Meinelt (@kimmibird). She describes their journey together, “Three months after we met, we traveled to Southeast Asia on a trip that would foreshadow our foray into collaborative photography. Our process places two opposing techniques together with as little resistance as possible.”


A collection of haunting daguerreotypes from the studio of Matthew Brady, one of the most celebrated 19th century American photographers. Daguerreotype portraits were made by the model posing (often with head fixed in place with a clamp to keep it still the few minutes required) before an exposed light-sensitive silvered copper plate, which was then developed by mercury fumes and fixed with salts. This fixing however was far from permanent – like the people they captured the images too were subject to change and decay. They were extremely sensitive to scratches, dust, hair, etc, and particularly the rubbing of the glass cover if the glue holding it in place deteriorated. As well as rubbing, the glass itself can also deteriorate and bubbles of solvent explode upon the image. See more here: http://bit.ly/1DILj5M


On this day in history, the cornerstone of the United States Capitol was laid by George Washington in 1793.

Since then, the Capitol has been rebuilt and expanded dramatically (by no less than four different architects).

This daguerreotype is from a trio of images by John Plumbe, Jr. that form the first photographic record of the site.

The United States Capitol, 1846, John Plumbe, Jr. J. Paul Getty Museum. 


January 9, 1839: The French Academy of Sciences announces the invention of the daguerreotype.

The daguerreotype process, named for French painter Louis Daguerre, was an early and the earliest practical, widely-used photographic process. Daguerre, who began experimentation in the 1820s, formed a collaborative partnership with Joseph-Nicephore Niépce that failed to produce a reliable process before Niépce’s death in 1833, after which Daguerre continued to experiment, eventually making important headway when he accidentally placed his plates in a cabinet filled with mercury vapor. An 1837 image entitled L'Atelier de l'artiste was claimed to be the first fully developed daguerreotype produced by Daguerre’s revolutionary process, which reduced exposure times to a point that made photography relatively convenient, in addition to commercially viable. The process was announced one hundred and seventy-five years ago on January 9, 1839, the generally accepted birth year of photography.

In one apocryphal story, the French painter Paul Delaroche, upon seeing the daguerreotype process for the first time, was said to have exclaimed

… from today, painting is dead!

Although invented in France, the daguerreotype (which was popularly used for portraiture) was highly popular in the United States; its popularity peaked in the 1850s - at the Great Exposition of 1851, Horace Greeley boasted “in daguerreotypes, it seems to be conceded that we beat the world”. Not long after, however, the daguerreotype process was largely supplanted by other processes.