Underground photography by Félix Nadar

paris2012In 1861, Félix Nadar invented a battery operated flash lamp, one of the first artificial lights in the history of photography, and brought his camera into the Paris’ sewers and catacombs.

He used 18-minute exposures and, as models, wooden mannequins dressed in the garb of city workers.

Parisians had heard of the vast subterranean networks underlying their streets and Nadar brought this  lattice to light. The inventive photographer  was born in April 1820 in Paris (though some sources state Lyon).

He was a caricaturist for Le Charivari in 1848. In 1849 he created the Revue comique and the Petit journal pour rire. He took his first photographs in 1853 and in 1858 became the first person to take aerial photographs.

He also pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris. Underneath Paris is a parallel universe of tunnels, caverns, bones – and party venues.

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