Antoine Claudet, French photography pioneer, 1841.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Self portrait daguerreotype by Antoine Francois Jean Claudet (1797-1867). After learning about the daguerreotype proces from Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) in Paris, Claudet moved to London and set up a daguerreotype portrait studio in 1841, directly competing with Richard Beard (c 1801-c 1888). After much rivalry, Claudet became the more succesful of the two and was appointed the official photographer to Queen Victoria. He invented the red darkroom light, discovered a way to reduce exposure time for daguerreotypes, and was the first to use painted backgrounds and props in photographs.