First Photo of a Human Being?

Does this photograph, taken in 1838 of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris by Louis Daguerre, show the first photograph of a human being?

The daguerreotype was the first publicly announced photographic process developed by Louis Daguerre and Joseph Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.

“The image in a Daguerreotype is formed by the amalgam, or alloy, of mercury and silver. Mercury vapor from a pool of heated mercury is used to develop the plate that consists of a copper plate with a thin coating of silver rolled in contact that has previously been sensitised to light with iodine vapour so as to form silver iodide crystals on the silver surface of the plate.” – Wikipedia

Since the exposure time was around 10 minutes, all the moving people and horse drawn carriages do not show up. The only people who stood still long enough to show up in the photograph were a shoe shiner and his customer (see detail below).

[Hokumburg via The Atlantic]

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2 Responses to “First Photo of a Human Being?”

  1. [...] is, for instance, something unutterably eerie about the earliest photograph to show a human being. Shot from a window high above the Boulevard du Temple in Paris in 1838, using the brand new [...]

  2. [...] is, for instance, something unutterably eerie about the earliest photograph to show a human being. Shot from a window high above the Boulevard du Temple in Paris in 1838, using the brand new [...]

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