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Imaging a Daguerreotype

Daguerreotypes are particularly challenging surfaces to image. The highly reflective surface of the metal acts like a mirror, scattering light and ensuring reflections, glare, and hotspots. If the daguerreotype is still in its union case, there is the additional reflective surface of the cover glass along with the shadows from the frame edges. The daguerreotype image is also direct positive with a small viewing angle, allowing the negative to appear at certain angles, and that creates a challenge for the documentation of both versions. Our objective is to better understand the chemical and physical structure through imaging and analysis at the micro level. This is accompanied by the urgent need to document the image and condition at the macro and micro level, since we don’t know when and how the surface will be affected by aging, display, and handling.

Below are videos exploring the imaging of daguerreotypes: Imaging Daguerreotypes Video
DagHaus Video
Gigapixel Video
Viewing a Gigapixel Image Video
Viewing an RTI Video

Open Daguerreotype
Daguerreotype EPVD7