3D rendering, design, media, and technology news.

I had some free time tonight and came across an article regarding the first known photograph of a human by Daguerre. Curiosity got the best of me, so I decided that I’d take a look and see if I encounter anyone else in the image. As I looked, I quickly realized that I would have to clean-up this image and make some further adjustments to reveal more detail. I figured that I was probably a perfect candidate for analysis as it relates to my line of work. What I ended up with was a colorized version of this Daguerreotype. I didn’t spend too much time refining the image – maybe a little over a hour tops. I’m certain I could spend days if I really wanted to get it just perfect, but for the purpose this suited it just fine.

Here is the original black and white image:

Boulevard_du_Temple_by_Daguerre

Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre

Direct download link if you’re having problems viewing this in your browser:
Wikimedia Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre (right-click, save-as.)

Here is the colorized version of this photograph which helped bring out the details for me:

Colorized Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre

Colorized Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre

Direct download link if you’re having problems viewing this in your browser:
Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre colorized (right-click, save-as.)

Here is a version with my notes superimposed on top of the image noting my findings:

Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre with Notes

Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre with Notes

Direct download link if you’re having problems viewing this in your browser:

Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre color notes (right-click, save-as.)

In the end, I think I may have identified some additional people within this scene. I think I may have also identified the time of day and season. I can’t be 100% certain. In an ideal situation, I’d like to get my hands on the original plate in order to accurately scan it. That may bring out a little more detail, but I would imagine it would be minimal at best.

It would be great if other people would take a look at it and see if there’s anything that I missed.

UPDATE (11/1/2010)

Based on some very good observations and comments, I’ve made some updates to this image and highlighted other call-outs.

  1. I’ve changed the scene to spring for this version.
  2. I’ve removed the red from the street. It is most likely grey, but the grey makes the image slightly more difficult to interpret.
  3. The grass has been removed based on other, most recent photographs. I believe that this was probably a hard-packed clay instead.
  4. This might seem far-fetched, but a cat might be seen in a window (from Karen.)
  5. Based on a comment, I think that the person “getting his shoes shined” is actually someone at a water pump (thanks Coldcat.)  I believe there may be two buckets at his feet.
  6. Based on a comment by “Mik in Montague”, there seems to be someone sitting to the left of the wheelchair/baby carriage. I now believe that they’re sitting on a bench which is facing us.
  7. To the right (behind the carriage) seems to be another person sitting behind the carriage. I’ve made out the shape of what seems to be an arm. Sarlix may have commented on this earlier.
  8. I’ve just noticed that there may be a little person sitting, facing the carriage in between the two people at the bench.

Here is the latest revised image:

Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre Modified

Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre Modified 11/1/2010

Direct download link if you’re having problems viewing this in your browser:
Boulevard du Temple by Daguerre-modified (right-click, save-as.)

Here is a close-up of the person at the “water pump”:

Boulevard du Temple Water Pump

Boulevard du Temple Water Pump

Here is a close-up of two (perhaps even three) people possibly sitting at a bench to the right of the person above. Please note that a lot of the fine noise and “blocks” in this image is due to JPEG compression. The only way to really remove the noise is to take a better look at the original JPEG (if available assuming that is hasn’t changed much) or to rescan the original plate image:

Boulevard du Temple Bench

Boulevard du Temple Bench