Photography has been transitional of boundless possibilities since it was devised in the early 1800s.
The camera has made capturing of historical moments possible and has reshaped perspective of self and the world around. To celebrate the remarkable history of photographic science on World Photography Day, we take a closer look at the first photograph of a human ever taken.
The earliest known photograph of a human appeared in a snapshot taken in 1838 by Louis Daguerre. The image had the first recognizable human form to have ever been captured on camera. Daguerre himself took what most believe to be his very early successful attempts at image-making of a human, in a street scene of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, France.
Due to the extended exposure time for the image, many pedestrians who walked the thoroughfare were not in place long enough to register on the plate. The street would have been busy with traffic and everything moving was too fast to make an impression making it seem deserted.
Barring two men in the bottom left quadrant of the photograph who was seemingly unaware they were included in the pages of history as they stood on the pavement by the curve in the road.
A closer look reveals the fuzzy outline one is polishing the shoes of the other is having his boots shined hands behind his back.
A much finer-grained exploration shows less distinct figures, including a child’s face in a window, and several other passers-by.
The snapshot marks an important period in history in the medium of photography that passed from curiosity to ground-breaking technology.