À l’occasion du centenaire de la reconnaissance officielle de l’appareil de Daguerre par l’Académie française des Sciences (9 janvier 1839), Life Magazine a demandé à Edward Steichen de faire un portrait en utilisant une camera ayant appartenu à Daguerre.
Ceci est l’autoportrait obtenu à cette occasion, paru dans le Life du 9 janvier 1939 (vol. 6, n°2):
Edward Steichen, Autoportrait, New York 1939
The patched and ancient camera shown above was manufactured a century ago by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype and godfather of modern photography. The gentleman beside the camera is Edward Steichen, one of photography’s great living practitioners. The picture is a self-portrait, taken by Mr. Steichen in the mirror of his New York studio with Daguerre’s historic camera.
It was on Jan. 9, 1839 that the French Academy of Sciences officially recognized Daguerre’s epochal achievement. This week photographers throughout the world are celebrating the centennial of their calling. To mark the event LIFE asked Photographer Steichen to take a picture with one of Daguerre’s old cameras. The camera was obtained from Therese Bonney, owner of the most extensive U.S. collection of daguerreotypes and daguerreotype equipment.
Mr. Steichen repaired leaks in the camera box with mending tape, stuck some over the aperture and punched a tiny hole to give greater depth of focus. The results, as shown above, was as fine a portrait as could be taken with a modern camera. Reasons: 1) Daguerre’s camera was fundamentally as good as present-day cameras; 2) modern film is far superior to the sensitized copper plates used by Daguerre; 3) Edward Steichen is a superb camera technician. (Life Magazine, 9 janv. 1939)