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The first photograph of a human being; 1838

We live an age where it is very easy and convenient to take a photograph of ourselves. This made me wonder when was the first ever photograph of a human being? It turns out that the first photo of a human being was taken in 1838!

Boulevard du Temple, Paris

Boulevard du Temple, Paris

The first human photo in this pic, and the most recognisable I must say is the man getting his shoe shined. Here it is in magnification:

The shoe shiner and the client

The shoe shiner and the client

There are also other possible people:

Two women and a cart or pram near the shoeshine boy

Two women and a cart or pram near the shoeshine boy

A child looking out from a window

A child looking out from a window

Boulevard Du Temple

The Boulevard Du Temple in Paris still exists today, albeit not in its original form. It was also formerly known as the Boulevard Du Crime at one point in its history.

Photographic Technique

This photo was taken using the daguerreotype process. This was the first publicly announced photographic process and for nearly twenty years was the one most commonly used. It was invented by Louis Daguerre and introduced in 1839. The exposure time for the image was around seven minutes. Everything moving was too fast to register on the plate. Many of the figures in this pic are hard to see because the original image photographic plate itself measured only 6.5 inches by 8.5 inches.

To make a daguerreotype, the daguerreotypist polished a sheet of silver-plated copper to a mirror finish; treated it with fumes that made its surface light-sensitive; exposed it in a camera for as long as was judged to be necessary, which could be as little as a few seconds for brightly sunlit subjects or much longer with less intense lighting; made the resulting latent image on it visible by fuming it with mercury vapor; removed its sensitivity to light by liquid chemical treatment; rinsed and dried it; then sealed the easily marred result behind glass in a protective enclosure.

Original post from mashable, click here.

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