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Photography History’s First Man on a Photograph!

October 28, 2010

The Streets of Paris

If you will closely study this photo, you will see a silhouette of a man with his left leg stepping onto something standing in front of him. This photo was suspected to be taken by Louis Daguerre, the same man who invented the daguerreotype. Taken on the streets of early Paris, this is considered as one of the earliest photos which includes a human as subject in photography.

If you will also notice, there is only one man in the street and it is kind of creepy that Paris was not crowded at all like it was nearly a ghost town. But actually, people were there moving while the picture was taken. To add to the explanation, Hokumburg Goombah will enlighten us about this photograph:

“To achieve this image (one of his earliest attempts), [Louis Daguerre] exposed a chemically treated metal plate for ten minutes. Others were walking or riding in carriages down that busy street that day, but because they moved, they didn’t show up. Only this guy stood still long enough-maybe to have his boots shined-to leave an image.

Other primitive forms of photography had preceded this picture by over a decade. But this anonymous shadowy man is the first human being to ever have his picture taken. There is also the very faint image of the bootblack bent over his work.”

After knowing that explanation, I started thinking that the man had really no idea that by simply letting his boots shined, he already became a star in a photograph that will become part of the photography history.

Photo credits: TheAtlantic.com (Hokumburg)

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