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Girault de Prangey's primary subject was architecture, which he approached with a knowledgeable but enquiring mind and an artist's eye. He used a variety of methods and techniques to reproduce the spatial and ornamental qualities of historically important buildings on paper and on the daguerreotype plate. Social history was not a major preoccupation and the limitations of his early lenses and plates made it as nearly impossible to photograph in dark interiors or confined, narrow streets, as it was to make informal portraits and genre studies. Nevertheless, he achieved some success with each of these challenging subjects in Egypt and especially Cairo.