Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the development of photography in the 1830s, when techniques for 'drawing with light' evolved to the stage where, in 1839, both Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot made claims for its invention. These followed the development of the camera obscura, and experiments by such as Thomas Wedgwood and Nicéphore Niépce, and led to rapid changes in the 1840s as more people captured images with the daguerreotype and calotype. These new techniques changed the aesthetics of the age and, before long, inspired claims that painting was now dead.


Simon Schaffer
Professor of the History of Science at the University of Cambridge

Elizabeth Edwards
Emeritus Professor of Photographic History at De Montfort University


Alison Morrison-Low,
Research Associate at National Museums Scotland

Producer: Simon Tillotson.