PetaPixel

First Ever Photograph of a Human Being

This photograph of Boulevard du Temple in Paris was made in 1838 by Louis Daguerre, the brilliant guy that invented the daguerreotype process of photography. Aside from its distinction of being a super early photograph, it’s also the first photograph to ever include a human being. Because the image required an exposure time of over ten minutes, all the people, carriages, and other moving things disappear from the scene. However, in the bottom left hand corner is a man who just so happened to stay somewhat still during the shot — he was having his shoes shined.

It’s interesting how sheer luck earned the guy a place in the history of photography. Too bad we’ll probably never know his identity.

(via NPR)


 
 
  • Gpoliver

    I don’t know but I’m lovin’ the skinny jeans!..

  • Alansara

    If you want to see something else interesting google up “earliest born person ever photographed”.

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  • Awhite902

    It is thought that the person getting his shoes shined is Daguerre’s assistant and that he was told to stand there during the exposure.  

  • Corrector

    This description is very misleading and inaccurate…There were no other people or carriages in the street. Dagguerre intentionally took the picture early in the morning when no one was out, because he knew they would be blurred by the long exposure. Objects don’t disappear in a photo if they move, they create a streak across their path. The man in the photo is standing at a water pump, and was likely an accomplice of Dagguerre’s that he had pose as a point of interest in the photo. No one would stand at a water pump like that for 20 minutes, all by themselves, at daybreak…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BETCSLI2VSQU3GTDPYQEXBTISQ RB

    The shadows are going in two different directions:  to the left and the right.  Was this photo doctored ?

    There might be more people in the photo as well. 

    The man identified here would seem to more likely be getting his boots shined than standing at a water pump (the only reason for the latter would be to refresh horses –  no trough is visible) and  there might be a second figure partially shown in front of him in the photo. 

    It also looks like there is a seated figure beside the only smoking chimney in the photo on the roof of the structure directly behind the large building in the right foreground of the photo……….
    The 1st and the 4th building on the left seem to have tables in front on the sidewalk. The 4th may have a seated figure behind it………. There is possibly another human figure standing beneath what looks to be a huge awning or overhang in the “rear” of the building in the right foreground though that’s a real stretch………..

    On the second (visible) floor of the 2nd building on the far right, in an open window, there seems to be a hand and wrist, accompanied by the outline of a standing figure. It seems to be a woman, facing left….  another stretch………

    There is possibly another human figure standing beneath what looks to be a huge awning or overhang in the “rear” of the building in the right foreground though that’s a real stretch………..

    On the second (visible) floor of the 2nd building on the far right, in an open window, there seems to be a hand and wrist, accompanied by the outline of a standing figure. It seems to be a woman, facing left….  another stretch………

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BETCSLI2VSQU3GTDPYQEXBTISQ RB

    I apologize for the repititions in the above

  • Hedleymcc

    Oh for God’s sake . . . “HIS” identity, of course. Women didn’t go round Paris boulevards dressed like that in 1838.

  • nice guy

    they just assume he was getting his shoe shined what really happened was he did an epic captin morgan pose for ten minutes straight. and on that note that beats all other poses i have ever seen.

  • Rose

    I read somewhere else that the man might be pumping water. It does look like a pump.

  • http://www.sportsbrothersreport.com/ Brady Rauch

    incredible

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.sick.129 Colin Sick

    2 ppl in the picture. he’s getting his shoes shined

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.sick.129 Colin Sick

    actually he’s getting his shoes shined

  • mika

    Jan Werbowski, Pole, participant in Napoleonic wars were the first photographed man. Jacques Daguerre photographed him with method of the daguerreotype. The irradiation lasted 30 minutes, by which Werbowski could not move.

  • no

    You spelt color wrong it is colour. The end. and honour. Welcome to Australia

  • Ted

    Sorry to say this. “It’s a fake! It was all done with Corel Draw.” He he he.

  • Ya

    You spelled spelled wrong.