Frozen In Time: Famous First Photographs 

By Vandya Rai

August 18, 2022

The World’s Very First Photograph

Taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce using the heliography technique. The view is from an upstairs window of his estate in Burgundy, France. It is the earliest surviving photo.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Photo With Humans

Captured by Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype camera. This is the oldest photo of Paris, and also the first to have people in it, as seen on the right-hand corner.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Selfie

In frame is Robert Cornelius. He sat in front of the lens for over a minute before covering it, to capture this self-portrait successfully for the first time.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Photo of the Moon

Taken by John W. Draper from his rooftop observatory at New York University. The image has since seen some damage.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Portrait of a Woman 

Dorothy Catherine Draper, posing for her brother Dr. John W. Draper at his photo studio in Washington Square. This is the earliest surviving photo of a woman.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Aerial Photograph

Taken from a hot air balloon, depicting Boston from a view of 2000 feet. Captured by James Wallace Black titled, “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It”.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Colour Photograph

A coloured ribbon, captured by Physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who developed the three-colour process. The man who hit the shutter button was Thomas Sutton, the inventor of the SLR.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Photos of Movement

Horse In Motion, by photographer Eadweard Muybridge, which took him 6 years to get right. He arranged 12 trip-wire cameras along a racetrack of a galloping horse.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Coloured Landscape

Landscape of Southern France — by Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron, a pioneer in photography. This image was a projection onto the screen of three ranges of green, red, and blue.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Underwater Portrait

Clicked by Louis Marie Auguste Boutan in Banyuls-sur-Mer in the South of France. His flash photography rig had to run for 30 minutes to capture the proper amount of light.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Photo From Space

Taken by the V-2 #13 rocket, depicts the Earth from an altitude of 65 miles. A 35mm motion picture camera snapped a frame every second as the rocket ascended into the atmosphere.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Digital Photograph

Captured 20 years before Kodak invented the first digital camera. This photo is a digital scan of a shot taken on film. In frame is the son of Russell Kirsch — the engineer of the first digital image scanner.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Photograph of Earth From Moon

Taken by a Lunar Orbiter traveling close to the moon. This was during its 16th lap around the moon.


Image Souce: NASA

The First Camera Phone Photo

Taken when camera phones didn’t even exist! Entrepreneur Philippe Kahn combined a digital camera and a cell phone to send this picture of his newborn daughter across the web in real-time.


Image Source: Wikipedia

The First Photo of a Black Hole

The first known image of a black hole, captured by NASA’s Event Horizon Telescope. This celestial body sits in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, 55 million light years away from Earth.


Image Source: Wikipedia