Photography

5 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Photography

Photography is an art full of secrets and fascinating stories. This post reveals five of those interesting facts

Instagram, passports, billboards and magazines. Every corner of our lives is covered in photos. Over the past two centuries, photography and it’s ability to capture a moment and make it immortal, has transformed our world.

So do you know how many photos are taken every day? Or why people didn’t smile for photos in the old days? Or, most importantly, when people started using photos to create cat memes? Discover these and other interesting facts about photography in the video.

5 Interesting Facts About Photography

1. How many photos are taken every day?

It’s estimated that one billion photos are taken every year. So while there’s no way of knowing the exact number, on an average day: 95 million images are uploaded to Instagram and an additional 300 million are uploaded to facebook. Not bad, huh?

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On average, 95 million images are uploaded to Instagram every day.

2. Cat memes are much older than you think

A large proportion of the instant photos made available online are related to cats. As well as the photos we share in WhatsApp groups. But cat memes have been around for over 50 years. Who started it? Harry Pointer.

At first, this British photographer took conventional photos of cats being cats. In other words, resting, or drinking milk or sleeping in a basket. But in the 1870s, Pointer decided to innovate. He dressed his cat up in human clothing, took its photo and published it along with a funny phrase. By 1884 he had created over 200 funny cat photos that were sold as greetings cards. They came to be known as ‘The Brighton Cats’.

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One of Harry Pointer’s cat photos.

3. The first photo of a person was a mistake

The first photos took so long to develop that taking shots of people was impractical: they couldn’t stand still long enough.

In 1828, Louis Daguerre, who is widely regarded as the man who invented photography, took a photo of a Parisian boulevard that would change history. The long exposure he used meant that once the image was revealed, it showed what is now considered to be the first photo of a human being: a shoe shiner.

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Louis Daguerre’s photo of the Paris boulevard.

4. Why don’t people smile in old photos?

Some say people didn’t smile because they used dead people as models. Others blamed terrible teeth. But the most likely explanation is that people wanted to imitate the seriousness of classical art portraits. Large smiles were traditionally associated with madness and malice.

People only started smiling after Kodak put smiling faces in its adverts.

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An old Kodak poster.

5. You can develop photos with surprising ingredients

Who would have thought you could use coffee to make a photo? Simply mix it with vitamin C to create a developer, then add a little sodium bicarbonate to reduce the acidity and develop your photo!

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Who would have thought you could use coffee to make a photo?

Intrigued by this post? Discover more about the history of photography in this video.

And if you want to learn about photography, here‘s a link to all of the online photography courses available in Domestika.

English version by @studiogaunt.

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