Having acquired a share in L. J. M. Daguerre's invention, he was one of the first to practice daguerreotype portraiture in England, and he improved the sensitizing process by using chlorine (instead of bromine) in addition to iodine, thus gaining greater rapidity of action. He also invented the red (safe) dark-room light, and it was he who suggested the idea of using a series of photographs to create the illusion of movement. The idea of using painted backdrops is also attributed to him.
From 1841 to 1851 he operated a studio on the roof of the Adelaide Gallery (now the Nuffield Centre), behind St. Martin's in the Fields church, London. He opened subsequent studios at the Colosseum in Regent's Park (1847-1851) and at 107 Regent Street (1851-1867).
In 1848 he produced the photographometer, an instrument designed to measure the intensity of photogenic rays; and in 1849 he brought out the focimeter, for securing a perfect focus in photographic portraiture. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1853, and in 1858 he produced the stereomonoscope, in reply to a challenge from Sir David Brewster. In 1851 he moved his business to 107 Regent Street, where he established what he called a "Temple to Photography."
Claudet received many honours, among which was the appointment, in 1853, as "Photographer-in-ordinary" to Queen Victoria, and the award, ten years later, of an honor from Napoleon III of France. Sadly, less than a month after his death, his "Temple to photography" was burnt down, and most of his most valuable photographic treasures were lost.
He died in London.