A dedication to the first non-fixed photography by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce from 1816

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce attached a sheet of silver nitrate-coated paper on the back of a camera obscura and placed it on the window of his office. He named this experiment Retina. After several days of exposure, he opened the camera and pulled the sheet of paper out. At places with higher light incidence the silver nitrate became darker. The result was a negative photograph. To his disappointment, he was forced to watch how the negative disappeared when he opened the camera. Because of the ongoing exposure the silver nitrate became darker and darker. His frustration had to be enormous. He held the first photography of the world in his hands and found no way to fix it. The time became an element for him, characterized by slowness and transience.
The project -the 7th Day- is dedicated to Niépce’s first non-fixed photography. Equipped with a pinhole camera, the participants of the project take their time to create something that is subject to chance. On the seventh day of the exposure, a magical moment arises when the camera is opened, which Niépce must have felt in May 1816. One holds a photograph in one’s hands, in which the unmoving is clearly visible and the moving is only briefly and indistinctly recognizable. In contrast to Niépce, however, today we have the possibility to fix the negatives with the help of modern technology. You send it to us, we scan it and convert it to positive. During scanning, the negative is destroyed by the continuous light bar, but it is digitized and stored. Afterwards, the images are loaded to the archive. Since 2012, this has included several thousand images of participants from all over the world. Each participant slips into the role of an author and uses his picture to create the history of the project.

We are looking forward to any further author of the project!

A pinhole camera is a camera obscura (lat. camera “chamber”; obscura “dark”),a dark chamber in which light can enter through a small hole. The camera of the project “the-7th-day” consists of a film can loaded with photo paper. On the opposite side of the photo paper there is a small hole through which light can enter.

The exposure process starts as soon as you remove the adhesive tape (which covers the hole). If the adhesive strip has been accidentally removed, you can easily replace it after a short time.

The camera has an image angle of about 60 degrees. You can easily determine the image section by extending an imaginary line from the end of the photo paper through the middle (where the hole is located) into the room in front of it. The area between the yellow marked lines will later be visible on the photo paper.

Position the camera at a location of your choice. Positionieren und fixieren Sie die Kamera an einen Ort ihrer Wahl. During summer the exposure time must be at least 7 days. In winter at least 14 days. An overexposure is not possible with this technique. In closed rooms the camera should expose for several months.

When you think your picture is ready, open the camera ( under dim light ) and take the negative out. Insert the exposed negative in the black envelope. This will prevent the photo paper from being re-exposed. Send us your negative with the white envelope and remember your number. The number you find on the envelope will help you to find your picture in the archive later on.

As soon as we receive your negative we scan it and convert it to positive. During the scan, the negative is destroyed by the passing light bar. The destruction is delayed to storage. After the process, the original, unique material does not exist any longer. The image will then be uploaded to the archive page of the project. The number on the envelope turns into your picture number.

As a participant of the project you get access to the archive and a non-commercial license for over 4000 pictures of participants. Here you will also find your picture and can download it.

Manual video