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This comes from a Daguerreotype taken by Daguerre himself in 1838. It is probably a picture of a man (on the left) getting his shoe shined by a shoe shiner (in the right, less distinct). The image would have been exposed for about ten minutes, so the crowds wandering around on the street, carriages, etc. would be visible in this photograph as nothing other than a virtually undetectable fog as the occasional photon-chemical interaction would occur.

To see the original photograph, of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, and learn more about this photo, visit The Hokumburg Goombah.

Comments

  1. #1 Domestigoth
    October 28, 2010

    I remember studying this image as part of an art history class back in university — looking at the entire thing is actually rather surreal, because you can see this big, seemingly empty street, with just two people (one of whom has invisible hands) and nothing else.

    Entire image is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boulevard_du_Temple_by_Daguerre.jpg

    The lecture was surrounding the idea of photographs as being more “true” than art; obviously photographic imaging can miss things that the eye can see (or sometimes pick up things that the eye doesn’t see). Made for some interesting discussions about the nature of “truth” and “proof” in photographs.