Posted on

Hengli Ge

Mask – Daguerreotype
Metal And Fibre – Daguerreotype
Metal – Daguerreotype 

About Daguerrotypes: In an August 1839 publication by Lous Jacques Mondé Daguerre, Daguerreotype was claimed to be the first practical photographic system. The image was sharp and grain-less, but laterally reversed and difficult to view. Each image was an original, and long exposures were necessary.  Although it involved the use of hazardous chemicals and was difficult to master, the daguerreotype process was an instant success. 

The original process involved a silver-plated copper sheet polished to a mirror finish, then sensitised by exposure to iodine vapour in a light-tight box. The plate was exposed in a camera and developed by exposure to the vapour of mercury heated to 60 degrees C.  Exposure to bromine vapour after the iodising step increases sensitivity, and sodium thiosulphate (hypo) to “fix” the image.  Gold toning improved the density and stabilised the image sufficiently to enable hand colouring. With portraiture now possible daguerreotype studios sprang up throughout the civilised world. The arrival of the Salted paper print with the ease of reproduction quickly replaced this process.

About Hengli Ge: (Nanjing China) In 2018, I first knew about the daguerreotype. I was fascinated, not only by its historical meanings, but more importantly, by the unique charm of the craft of daguerreotype itself. Directly shooting on the field is the way I prefer to make my daguerreotype. The precious metal being perfectly polished preserves time on its surface, and the image combined of time and metal seems to be a unique existence. To see a daguerreotype closely it appears the object is ‘floating’ on the surface of the silver plate. The images created under different combinations have entirely different characteristics. Therefore, I chose three kinds of objects with different materials, which are metal, fiber and silicate, in order to experience the difference and to further understand the daguerreotype.


Hengli Ge Metal & Metal Daguerreotype
Hengli Ge Daguerreotype Metal and Fibre
Hengli Ge Daguerreotype Mask