Camera Obscura Project
in memory of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and the worldwide first Photography - Mai 1816 - non fixed


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 (lat. camera "Chamber"; obscura "dark") 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 in which a reduced and inverted image of what was in front of the window could be seen. 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 (photocamera), the participants of the project take their time to create something that is subject to chance. On the seventh day of the exposure time, 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 me, I 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 into 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.

I am looking forward to any further author of the project!


For further information please click on the pictures.



This is the archive page of the project.

You can find here all images with picture number and title. If you want to search for your picture, simply enter your picture number in the searching field. You will find it at the top right corner under Discover.

New Images
New Images

Here you can find the newest pictures of the project.

Ladies and gentlemen,

as some of you know, I've been struggling with my health for the last few months. In May I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Now the treatment is over and I am on a good road to recovery. I've had a lot of time to think about the last few months and I've decided to give the project The 7th Day to my son (Patrick).

The many letters and recovery wishes of the last months gave me strength and motivation. I would like to thank you very much and ask for your understanding if I could not answer every letter.

I thank the participants of this project for the beautiful years we had together and I am looking happily forward.

Your Przemek Zajfert



Ladies and gentlemen,

I have been supporting my father at markets and exhibitions for several years now. Now it's time to get active.

As you can see, there have been some changes on the website - take a look around. I am looking forward to the following years and many further participants.


With kind regards

Patrick Zajfert