Archive for January 17th, 2009

10 Photographic Firsts

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Check out this fascinating top 10 list of firsts in the history of photography from The List Universe. All 10 entries were surprises in one way or another.

I had no idea, for instance, that the first photograph — a copper print of an engraving — was only discovered in 2002. It was taken in 1825 by Nicéphore Niépce who used a copper-bitumen plate + sunlight system which required a full day’s exposure.

Niépce would later collaborate with Louis Daguerre until his death in 1833. Daguerre continued to experiment with photographic processes on his own until 5 years later he invented the one that stuck, the eponmous daguerreotype.

Louis Daguerre takes the number 3 slot with the first person captured on film: an 1838 daguerrotype of a street scene with one distant blurry fellow who just happened to be standing in the same place getting his shoes shined for the 10 minutes it took to take the picture.

My favorite, though, is number 7: the first high-speed series. In 1878, Eadweard Muybridge took multiple pictures and put them together to create the illusion of a picture in motion, a movie, if you will. It’s the fore-runner of animated gifs and it looks totally cool. The bison just slays me.

Is that not irresistibly cute? I want a bison.

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