1. The first person to take a photographic snapshot was Joseph Niépce. The picture (below) is called “A View From The Window,” dated 1826. The exposure of the shot lasted 8 hours!
2. Ever wonder why the folks in the 1840-60’s looked so grumpy in pictures? Due to the amount of time it took to expose the picture, the subject couldn’t move, smile or blink or the portrait would turn out blurry. In fact, early daguerreotypes had an exposure time of up to twenty minutes! As new technology became available, such as wet-plate and versatile dry-plate techniques, the subjects could say “cheeeese!” and relax.
3. In the early 1800s, the chemicals used in photo development (mercury, silver nitrate, lye, etc) were very dangerous. Photographers often fell victim to chemical poisoning. The flash powder ingredients used were even more dangerous since potassium chloride and aluminum were mixed to provide artificial lighting for photographs. Today, these chemicals are used to make fireworks and as a result of improperly mixed and stored chemicals, many early photographic studios burned down.
4. In 1889, George Eastman named his company Kodak after the sound he thought the camera shutter made.
5. In 1975, the first digital camera (right) was offered to consumers and was only 1.4 megapixels and cost $10,000. Today, the highest resolution digital camera in the world is 160 megapixels and costs $36,000. For comparison, the average digital camera is between 10-14 megapixels while the iPhone 4s contains an 8 megapixel camera.
6. Sony’s first digital camera arrived in 1981, and stored only 25 photos.
7. According to present statistics, only 2 out of 10 images taken with a digital camera are printed on paper.
8. President Barack Obama’s official portrait was taken with a digital camera, a Presidential first.
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