CHAPTER FOURTEEN From Halftones to Bytes


The initial success of the daguerreotype was based on its ability to fulfill a longstanding human desire for graphic representation, as expressed during ancient Roman times in Pliny’s myth about a young woman who outlined the shadow of her candlelit paramour on a wall as a mechanism of remembrance. The daguerreotype’s eventual failure was due to its inability to reproduce itself. People not only wanted an “automatic” way of directly capturing nature, they also wanted an easy and inexpensive method for sharing their pictorial remembrances with as many people as they pleased.1 It was this human characteristic, the wish to share something of personal importance with others, ...

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