Louis Lumière was a pioneering French filmmaker of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for inventing the cinematograph, which was the first camera to both capture and project motion pictures. Born in Besançon, France, in 1864, he was the eldest of five children born to Antoine and Jeanne Lumière.
At the age of 23, Louis Lumière began working with his father in the family's photographic plate manufacturing business. During this time, he developed several inventions, including a new type of photographic plate that was more sensitive to light, allowing for shorter exposure times. He also invented a device that allowed for the automatic loading and unloading of photographic plates.
In 1895, Louis and his younger brother Auguste made history when they unveiled their invention, the cinematograph. This device was the first to be able to both capture and project motion pictures simultaneously onto a screen. The brothers had several successful public screenings of their films, and in 1896 they established the Lumière Brothers' Cinematograph, which made and screened their own films.
The Lumière Brothers' films were mostly composed of short scenes from everyday life, and they were among the first to use the documentary style of filmmaking. They also experimented with special effects, such as slow motion, and they were the first to use color in their films.
In addition to their filmmaking, Louis and Auguste also produced photographic cameras. They also founded the Lumière Institute in Lyon, where they trained many of the early filmmakers of the time.
Louis Lumière died in 1948, aged 84. He is remembered as a key figure in the history of film, and his work had a lasting influence on the art form. He was posthumously inducted into the French Legion of Honor in 1951, and received several other awards over the years. His legacy lives on in the work of all who followed in his footsteps.