Photo Credit: Frank M. Rafik

Happy World Photography Day

Did you know that August 19th is World Photography Day? That day marks the release of the first practical photographic process, patented in 1839. So let us be the first to wish you a Happy World Photography Day. It has been a great 175 years!

What is World Photography Day? It is a day when we get to take a moment and recognize the artists who have made pictures say a thousand words. Photography has revolutionized the way we see the world. We can share adventures with friends and family in other cities; we can watch grandchildren, thousands of miles away, as they grow up. We can visit exotic and interesting places without leaving our homes. What is the best part about photography today? Thanks to modern technology, we can share poignant moments across the globe in just seconds.

We’ve all seen our share of selfies in social media channels – but who was the first person to capture a selfie? Back in 1839, Robert Cornelius (1809-1893), an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia is believed to be the world’s first ever selfie taker! We tip our hats to you, sir.

Photo Credit: Robert Cornelius/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Robert Cornelius/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Obviously, Cornelius did not have a smartphone back then, so how did he do it? Robert had set up his camera at the back of his family’s store and captured the image by removing the lens cap, running into the frame, while holding the pose for a minute and then covering up the lens again. On the rear of the daguerreotype, Cornelius wrote, “The first light picture ever taken. 1839.” Simply amazing for 1839.  That makes me wonder if the camera was really invented in the 19th century.

Let’s take a short walk back in time and investigate. The video below briefly takes us through the transition of photography throughout the century. Using cutout animation, this video is a delightful narration of the history of advancement of the camera. (Yes, we know this video skips over motion camera inventions, we still thought it was a nice video that could shed  some light on little known facts about the invention of the camera.)

Do you celebrate World Photography Day? How do you celebrate? Which photographer inspires you the most? Please share your answers in the comments section or on TwitterGoogle+, or Facebook where we are always listening.