© NMeM / Royal Photographic Society / Science & Society Picture Library
Heliographic copy of a print , 1827. This pewter plate was copied from a stage set for 'Elodie' by Louis Jaques Mande Daguerre. The world's first photograph was taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce (1765-1833) in 1826; he used a camera obscura to project an image on to a sheet of pewter coated with bitumen. It took eight hours for a blurred image to form. Niepce called his invention a Heliograph, after the Greek 'of the Sun'.