15 Awesome Photography Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know

1. The Largest Camera Collection Consists of 4,425 Cameras

Dilish Parekh, a photojournalist from Mumbai, has the largest camera collection. He owns 4,425 antique cameras

2. The First Photo of a Person Was Accidental

In 1828, Louis Daguerre took the first photo that captured a human being. His intention was to take a photo of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. The man in his photo was standing in the street, getting his shoes polished. Since the exposure lasted for seven minutes, the man also got captured.

3. The First Digital Camera was Invented in 1975

In 1975, Steven Sasson invented the world’s first digital camera. He was working at Eastman Kodak at the time.

4. The First Digital Camera Weighed 4x More Than a Modern DSLR

Steven’s camera weighed around 8 pounds (3.6kg) and shot only 0.01MP. The average weight of a modern DSLR is around 2 pounds.

5. The First Colour Photograph Was Taken in 1861

In 1861, Thomas Sutton suggested the process to create the world’s first colour image. The result of layering three separate images of red, green, and blue filters. These were then projected onto a photosensitive plate with the corresponding filters.

Sutton was a great photographer and inventor. Around the same time as the colour photograph, he also created the first SLR camera.

He was also the one who developed the earliest panoramic camera with a wide-angle lens in 1859. The photography world owes a lot to him.

6. Potassium Chloride and Aluminium Made the First Flashes

One of the most dangerous photography facts is about flashes. Photographers mixed potassium chloride and aluminium. This mixture would create a bright light when introduced to a spark.

These connections often led to violent explosions if they were not properly mixed. If you have a Speedlight, you have it easy.

7. The World’s Most Expensive Photograph Sold for $4.3 Million

In 1999, Andreas Gursky captured the world’s most expensive photo, Rhein II. In 2011, 12 years later, it sold for an incredible $4,338,500 at auction.

It is still the most expensive photo. Peter Lik boasts of having sold a picture for over $7 Million, but there is no proof, as the buyer wanted to remain anonymous.

8. Kodak Doesn’t Mean Anything

Most brands have a strong connection between their product and their name. For example, Canon means a rule, law or principle. Ilford takes its name from its birthplace, and Olympus is the home of the Greek Gods.

But, Kodak has no real meaning.

George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, said that the letter ‘K’ sounded strong, so he formed a word around it.

9. Polaroid Produced the First Autofocus SLR Camera in 1979

We all know when the first SLR camera was invented (look at number 3). It wasn’t until 120 years later was the auto-focus feature added.

The camera manufacturer that did this was Polaroid. This might surprise you as they get their fame from instant cameras and film

10. The Oldest Surviving Image Is Almost 200 Years Old

Not only was it taken almost 200 years ago, but it took 8 hours to capture! The photo was taken by Joseph Niepce and named ‘view from the window’.

The scene took place in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France. The photo shows the surrounding castle and other buildings.

A projected image from the window hit a sensitized plate, which was then used to place the image on paper. A lot of work went into this photo, and we are lucky it survived.

11. The Cameras That Captured the Moon’s Surface Are Still There

When the Apollo 11 mission took off for the moon, they carried 12 Hasselblad cameras with them. They are still there, on the moon.

The astronauts decided the cameras were too heavy for the return journey. So, they left them behind to make space for the 25 kilos of rock samples they brought back. They did, however, bring the film back with them.

12. The Most Popular Subjects for Photography in the 1800s Weren’t Alive

A surprising photography fact is that one of the most popular subjects used to be dead bodies. This was a way to record the memory and physical appearance of the deceased family member.

13. You Can Develop Your Negatives in Coffee

You might not believe it, but Caffenol is a real thing. Use coffee, vitamin C, and washing soda to develop your black and white negatives.

The first two ingredients bind together to form a developer. The washing soda adds alkalinity to the solution, allowing you to develop images.

14. The Most Viewed Photograph in History

This photography fact might not be surprising. The most viewed photograph is the default wallpaper for Windows XP. The image named ‘Bliss”, captured by Charles O’Rear in 1996.

He didn’t make as much money as you would imagine. Microsoft bought the image from stock website Corbis.

15. Why People Never Smiled in Old Photos

Old photographs were taken with huge large format cameras. Because the technology wasn’t as advanced, an image would take hours to expose correctly.

The subjects didn’t smile because they had to stay still for hours for one photo. Taking a photo often involved the use of a head brace for support. Understandably, smiling for hours was an impossible feat.

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