World Photography Day 2020 Celebrating some of the world's oldest photographs


Today – 19th August 2020 – is World Photography Day.

Splento is celebrating the day by looking back at a few of the oldest (and not so oldest) photographs taken.

Photography is around 200 years old – and the methods and technology have changed dramatically over that time.

And although the methods may be unrecognisable to those of two centuries ago, one thing that hasn’t changed – our obsession to capture the world and preserve it for future generations.

So in celebration of World Photography Day 2020, we have taken some very old and very recent photographs and put them side by side to compare.

Surprisingly (or, perhaps, not so surprising) is how many of the older images we prefer.

What do you think?

The earliest surviving camera photograph

Taken in 1826 or 1827, this photo entitled “View from the window at Le Gras” is commonly believed to be the earliest surviving camera photograph.

The original (on the left) and a colourised enhancement (right).

View from the Window at Le Gras

By Jonnychiwa – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88887615

By comparison, the following is a computer image depicting the original scene that was photographed by Niepce in 1826 from a window of his house. This image is a reconstruction of the view. The buildings do not exist anymore, but the house from which the photo was made is still there and can be visited.

Le Gras - a modern image

Source: http://kodaksefkeblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/visit-to-niepces-point-de-vue-du-gras.html

The first ever ‘selfie’ image


World's oldest selfie

Source: The public domain review                                                                                                                                                                Source: NBC

On the left is Robert Cornelius’ Self-Portrait: The First Ever “Selfie” (1839) photograph ever taken.

In 2013, the Oxford Word of the Year announced their word for that year to be “selfie”. This may help explain one of the more famous ‘selfies’ of recent times, taken by Bradley Cooper at the 2014 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) ceremony.

We will leave you to decide which photo we prefer out of the two.

Oldest photographs of the moon

One of the first pictures ever taken of the moon by Dr. J. W. Draper of New York, 1840.

1840 photo of the moon from earth

W. Draper—London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images

This more recent image, captured Feb. 1, 2014, shows a colorized view of Earth from the moon-based perspective of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Photo of the earth from the moon

NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

The oldest surviving aerial photograph

This photograph is called “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It”. It was taken by photographer James Wallace Black in October of 1860, from a hot air balloon over Boston, and from an altitude of about 2,000 feet.

Boston - the world's oldest aerial photo

Source: Petapixel.com

A more recent aerial photo – the following image of Beni Isguen was the winner of the award of the Drone Photo Award 2019 (Urban category), taken by George Steinmetz.

It is an aerial view of Beni Isguen, the most conservative and exquisitly preserved of the ancient hill towns in Ghardaia (Algeria) and is a World Heritage Site.

Drone photo of Beni Isguen

Source: droneawards.photo

The oldest photograph of a sitting USA president

Although an earlier photograph was taken of President Adams, it was taken only after he left office. The photo below is the first portrait taken of a sitting president. President James Polk was photographed while in office on February 14, 1849. Alongside is the official inauguration portrait of the incumbent, President Donald Trump.

Polk & Trump presidental portraits

Source: historybyzim.com                                                                                  Source: nypost.com


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