Du Camp's photographs are the first published views of the Middle East.
Du Camp learned calotyping from Gustave Le Gray and in 1849 persuaded the French Ministry of Education to send him on a photographic tour of archeological sites, accompanied by the novelist Gustave Flaubert. Du Camp focused on photographing the pyramids, the sphinx and other Egyptian monuments. On their twenty-one-month tour, Du Camp made 220 calotypes, 125 of which were printed by Louis-Desire Blanquart-Evrard and published as Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie, the first book about the Middle East illustrated with actual photographs. This was published by the most famous photographic printer of the preriod Blanquart-Evrard in 1852. After his return, Du Camp gave up photography and devoted his time to writing.
The present work is typcial of Du Camp's presentation of ancient monuments in their inclusion of minute figures that emphasise the enormous scale of the Egpytian ruins. Often, these figures are identifiable from their clothing as local men.