Brig on the Water, 1856.
© NMeM / Royal Photographic Society / Science & Society Picture Library
Although originally a student of painting, Gustave Le Gray (1820-1882) began experimenting with photography in the late 1840s, and became well-known for his photos of the Forest of Fontainebleau. He was a founding member of the Societe Heliographique in 1851, and of the Societe Francaise de Photographie in 1854. He introduced the wax paper process to the AcadEmie des Sciences in 1851, also in 1851 Le Gray along with Bayard, Baldus, Le Secq and Mestral, began to photograph the architectural monuments of France for the Commission des Monuments Historiques. He worked with his student Mestral on goverment sponsored missions hEliographiques in the Touraine and Aquitaine. In the 1860s he moved to Egypt, and continued to photograph and teach there until his death in 1884.