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The First Photograph And Russell Lee

For my introduction to photography class, this week I prepared a lecture on the history of photography. Cramming nearly 200 years of photography into 75 minutes was a daunting task. I started with the earliest image known to exist — a “heliograph” created by French inventor Joseph Niépce in 1826. It took an eight-hour exposure to create the street scene using an asphalt-like emulsion coated on a pewter plate. The image, encased in a box and behind glass inside a dimly lit room, is on permanent display at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The HRC boasts one of the largest...

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