Do you remember the first time you took a photo of something? The first time you picked up a camera, looked through the tiny square to see your frame, pressed your finger against the slick button and captured a moment?
We can all recall that time we got our first camera, the time we took one too many photos, and when we went through and marveled at what we captured.
It’s amazing! Come to think of it...it’s pure magic! How did photography begin? Who was the mad genius who invented the camera? And what was the first photo ever taken?
What was the First Photo Ever?
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce was a French inventor and is usually credited as the inventor of photography and a pioneer in that field. Niépce developed heliography, a technique he used to create the world’s oldest surviving product of a photographic process: a print made form a photo engraved printing plate in 1825. He used a primitive camera to produce the oldest surviving photograph of a real-world scene.
Niépce captured the scene with a camera obscura focused on a pewter plate thinly coated with Bitument of Jedea, a naturally occurring asphalt. The bitumen hardened in the brightly lit areas, but in the dimly lit areas it remained soluble.
A very long exposure in the camera was required to take the first image above. Sunlight strikes the building on opposite sides, suggesting an exposure that lasted about 8 hours, which has become the traditional estimate.
Invention of the Camera
Ever hear of George Eastman? This was the first guy credited with inventing the first camera! The use of photographic film was pioneered by Eastman himself, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1888. He named his first camera ever “Kodal.” Yep...he is THE guy who invented Kodak! Back then, it was a very simple box camera with a fixed-focus lens and single shutter speed. In order for the images to be processed, customers had to send their images back to the Kodak factory. Thank you, George, for this awesome invention!
- The first person who invented the negative was Fox Talbot. This occured in 1839.
- In the same year, Hippolyte Bayard presented the first positive print to the world.
- The first photographic paper was made of asphalt! Asphalt varnish was applied on the copper or the glass plate.
- Camera Obscura, which became the prototype of the modern camera, is used up to this day for the production of integrate circuits and as special film camera.
- The first color photograph was taken in 1861 by James Maxwell, the british physicist.
- Appearane of the first plate for color dated back to 1904, made by a company called “Lumiere.”
- The first aerial photography was carried out by French inventor Turnache in 1858. He shot Paris from the balloon.
- The first photos in Russia were made by Y.F. Fritzsche using the method of Talbot.
- Colors were retouched to make them “color” with watercolor for the first time in 1840.
- The first portrait by the electric light was made in 1879 by Levitsky, which required the exposure of 16 seconds.
- The first cassette - one of the prototypes of modern photographic film - which had 12 sheets of light-sensitive paper, and respecitively, 12 shots, weighed 15 pounds!
- The basis of the digital camera was invented in 1973.
- The world’s first digital camera is the devleopment of the company Kodak, Stephen Cesson. The invented camera recorded an image on an audio cassette tape. Time of recording images from the moment you press the button was 22 seconds.
- The term “megapixel” was first used in 1984.
- Statistically speaking, at present, only 2 of 10 images taken with digital cameras are printed on paper.
- The oldest camera was sold at the auction in Vienna in 2007, setting all-time overall record having become the most expensive camera ever sold at auction. It was sold for nearly eight hundred thousand U.S. dollars!