It doesn’t look like much, but this is the world’s first photograph, or rather, the oldest surviving photograph, or both. It was taken by French inventor Nicéphore Niépce, using a camera obscura focused onto a pewter plate coated with a thin layer of Bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring asphalt. Niépce exposed this plate through a lens to the buildings and surrounding countryside of his estate, Le Gras, in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes. The exposure is believed to have lasted at least eight hours, up to several days.
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