The Lives of Great Photographers ExhibitionImages by the photographer Weegee will also go on show

Picture credit: © Richard Sadler FRPS, courtesy of the National Media Museum

The intense rivalry between the inventors of modern photography is explored in a new exhibition which opens next month at the National Media Museum.

British-born William Henry Fox Talbot and Frenchman Louis Daguerre are regarded as the founding fathers of photography, having revealed their respective inventions to the world in 1839.

?Without Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot, photography as it is known today would not exist,? said a spokesman for The Lives of Great Photographers exhibition which opens on 15 April.

Fox Talbot investigated the action of light on paper, treated at first with nitrate of silver and later with chloride of silver, after using the camera lucida on a trip to Italy in 1833.

His experiments led him to produce a picture of his home, Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire and he went on to create the first negative from which multiple images could be produced.

Louis Daguerre pioneered the daguerreotype after discovering the light sensitivity of iodized silver plates in 1831 and – in 1835 – the possibility of developing them with mercury vapour.

In 1837 he was able to fix an image using sodium chloride, presenting his findings two years later.

Other legends featured in The Lives of Great Photographers will include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Weegee (pictured above) and Julia Margaret Cameron.

The exhibition will run at the National Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire until 4 September.