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June 20, 2019

France in the Early Photography: 26 Rare and Fascinating Photos of French People From the 1840s

Born 1800 in Paris, French photographer Louis Adolphe Humbert de Molard is interested in the first photographic techniques in the early 1840s, and a French pioneer of photography.

From 1843 to 1850, he made a series of daguerreotypes but gradually privileged the calotype technique, which he experimented in 1844. It seems that he was trained in part by his friend Hippolyte Bayard. He uses other techniques, such as albumin printing and wet collodion. He made contact with Abel Niépce of Saint-Victor to try to improve certain processes and then defends the development techniques promoted by Gustave Le Gray.

His productions have remarkable pictorial qualities and reveal a great mastery of the technical stages (lighting, emulsion, development). He stages activities related to the peasant world, as well as several genre figures, helped by his steward and model named Louis Dodier.

In 1854, Baron Humbert Molard was a founding member of the French Society of Photography and sought to promote different development techniques on paper from negatives and resigned in 1864 for health reasons. He published his research between 1851 and 1866 in The Light, which was at one time the bulletin of the Société héliographique de Paris.

These fascinating photographs are part of his work during his early days of photography that captured people in France from the 1840s.

(Photos by Louis Adolphe Humbert de Molard)



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