After digitally creating my own Daguerreotype, I wondered whether there were any photographers using the original photographic process today. Whilst searching on the Internet I came across the American photographer Jerry Spagnoli. In 1995, after familiarising himself with the technique that was invented in 1839, Spagnoli started his project ‘The Last Great Daguerreian Survey of the 20th Century”. His project features views of the metropolis and historical figures. He also photographed Times Square entering the new millennium. Examples of his work can be viewed on his website.
Spagnoli’s images have a rich, timeless quality with a subtle range of monochrome tones. The long exposure times that he would have needed illustrates the hustle and bustle of people passing in front of his Daguerreotype. I tend to rely on altering the aperture setting on my camera, but Spagnoli’s exposures have inspired me to experiment more with adjusting the shutter speed. Maybe one day I’ll have a go at making my own Daguerreotype!