World's oldest photo analyzed

The image acknowledged as the world's first photograph — taken by a French inventor in 1826 — has passed its first full-scale analysis with flying colors and is now awaiting an airtight case that will keep it safe for centuries to come, scientists said Wednesday.

The faint 8 -inch by 6.5-inch(20-cm by 16.5-cm) image of the French countryside, captured by Joseph Nicephore Niepce on a thin pewter plate, has been undergoing a high-tech check-up by scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute in a joint project with French photo conservationists.

"If you think of all the history of photographs, the development of film and television, they all come from this first image," said senior Getty scientist Dusan Stulik.

"This is the grand, grand-father of all those technologies. This is the beginning. That is why it is so exciting," Stulik said.

Using X-rays, multi-spectral imaging and infra-red spectrometers, the scientists sought to unlock the mysterious chemical processes by which the image was made.

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