'The Sun at its Zenith - Ocean', photograph by Gustave Le Gray

'The Sun at its Zenith - Ocean', photograph by Gustave Le Gray

'The Sun at its Zenith - Ocean'
Photograph by Gustave Le Gray
1856
Albumen print from collodion-on-glass negative
Museum no. 67:999
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Le Gray shot directly into the sun for the photograph The Sun at its Zenith in an attempt to balance on one glass negative the exposure for a bright sky and a relatively dark sea. The sun has become a dark disc, due to a photochemical phenomenon in which extreme over-exposure at an intense point of light reverses the tones on the negative.