Before the invention of photography there was an unofficial race to discover the process of capturing images directly from the subject. In the 1830’s two men, Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot, were successful in creating photographs, but they were working independently of each other and used different processes. Those differences stirred an argument over who was the first to create the first photograph and which process was better.
Capturing the Light: The Birth of Photography, a True Story of Genius and Rivalry by Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport chronicles the exciting emergence of photography during the industrial revolution from the very different Daguerre and Talbot. Daguerre had a limited education, and was an artistic showman, but Talbot was a university educated English gentleman. This true account is a detailed story about the lives of the two men that would change how people see the world from photos of war zones to art and the self-portrait.