Photography facts

Susan Fernandez December 12 2021

Here we gathered the most interesting and funny photography facts. Take a cup of tea and enjoy reading!

50 facts about photography

The first photo ever taken

The first photo ever taken was of a man named Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and it took 8 hours to take! It was taken in 1826. Joseph Nicéphore Niépce – the first photo ever taken – a picture of a Paris street, view from window at Le Gras.

First camera obscura location

The first known camera obscura was discovered in an Ancient Roman palace built around 50 A.D. Since then, the concept has been adapted into nearly every type of photography that exists today! Camera Obscura means darkroom in Latin.

The oldest surviving photography negative...ever?

The oldest surviving photographic negative is considered to be by John William Draper and dates back to the 1840s. It's not hard to see how it got its name. It is simply a positive, glass-plate negative image of the Sun.

Camera with the longest exposure ever

With an exposure time of 10 years and 9 months (from late 1945 to August 1954), William Bradford's 1943 photograph entitled  New York Central and Hudson River Railroad No. 486  holds the record for the longest-exposure photography ever taken – by camera or by any other means. Thanks to The Museum of Modern Art.

A first digital camera prototype

The first digital camera was created in 1975 by Steve Sasson, an engineer working for Eastman Kodak at the time. It recorded black and white images onto a standard cassette tape! And well.

Longest aerial photography

The longest aerial photography is the  Åre – Skiing resort  (Sweden) photograph and it measures a whopping 46.6 kilometers!

First digital camera

In 1989, Kodak released the first commercially available digital camera as a stock option for the Kodak DCS series of professional SLR cameras. In 1991 Kodak went on to release an all-in-one consumer model called the DC40 with a 1.3 megapixel CCD sensor, selling for $1,000 in kit form and $2,000 as a loaded camera. The DC40 was very unpopular due to its high

Most expensive photography ever sold

The most expensive photography ever sold was "Nympheas" by Claude Monet and it sold for $41.4 million at auction in 2008!

First Photoshopped picture

The first Photoshopped picture was created in 1974 by John Knoll and it consisted of Alfred E. Neuman from Mad Magazine's head on a model's body!

First selfie stick invented

The first selfie stick was most likely patented in 1929, by Samuel Shoch, but we all know they didn't really go mainstream until quite recently.

Windows screen as a camera

In 2012, researchers at Microsoft Research Asia developed a proof-of-concept called WindowCamera that uses the built-in webcam on Windows laptops to capture photos and videos of the user's surroundings.

Most photographed person in history

The most photographed person in history is undoubtedly Marilyn Monroe. With an estimated 10,000 photoshoots during her life, she's definitely left her mark on history!

First 3D photography

The first 3D photography was taken by Louis Daguerre in 1839 and it consisted of a view from his studio window in Paris.

Largest photo ever taken

The largest photo ever taken was a panoramic shot of London measuring an incredible 101 gigapixels in 2011.

First photography in space

The first photography in space was taken by Buzz Aldrin in 1966 on board the Apollo 11. It is also the only one that shows both astronauts on the same frame!

First photo uploaded to Facebook

The photo above, entitled "Testing One Two", was uploaded onto Facebook by co-founder Mark Zuckerberg at 12:58 am PDT on 4th of August, 2005, hence making it the world's first-ever Facebook photo upload!

The first digital camera with video recording capabilities introduced

Canon unveiled its DC 100 in 1991 which became the very first digital camera with video recording capabilities...everybody starts somewhere! Can you imagine using this today?

First Micro Four-Thirds Camera

The very first Micro Four-Thirds camera began production in 2008 and it was the Olympus Pen E-P1!

Highest resolution digital camera sensor available today

Adobe recently unveiled a prototype of their new device, christened Project Nimbus, which has the highest resolution for any digital camera sensor available today at an incredible 4,000 pixels.

Camera with the highest zoom ratio

Canon's S5 IS holds the record for having the highest zoom ratio (26x) ever built into a compact digital camera! Their S100 also has 10x optical zoom capabilities but its focal range is much shorter than that of the S5 IS's a close tie!

First digital camera with a color screen

In 1992, Fuji released the first digital camera with a color screen, the Fuji DS-1P. It had a 2.5 inch LCD monitor and could store up to 24 images on its internal memory.

The first underwater digital camera

The first underwater digital camera was the Nikonos RS, released by Nikon in 1995. It could be submerged up to 130 feet below the surface and came with a price tag of $2,000!

Camera used in the first moon landing

The lunar landing module's ascent stage had two 16mm Maurer cameras which were mounted on opposite walls and operated by a single handle. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin used these cameras to capture some of the most iconic images of our time!

Categories in photography

There are 80 photography categories! Bet you would be an expert at least in one of them.

Kodak bankrupted

In an attempt to compete with digital photography, Eastman Kodak launched Kidak in 1998, a camera that allowed for the printing of its photos without the use of a computer. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough and forced Kodak into filing for bankruptcy in 2012.

Camera phone with video recording capabilities introduced

2003 was when VGA cameras became standard on mobile phones and this was also when Nokia released the very first camera phone with video recording capabilities, the Nokia 6600.

First Instagram post

The first Instagram post was made by founder and CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom on October 6th, 2010. The photo was of his dog, Winston, with the caption "Testing out the new filters!"

Most popular photography app

As of June 2017, the most popular photography app is undoubtedly Snapchat with 158 million active users per day! How many of those users are you following?

National Geographic photographer of the year

Every year since 1984, National Geographic has awarded one photographer with the title of National Geographic Photographer of the Year. The award recognizes excellence in documentary photography across a variety of fields such as nature, culture, and more. The prize for this year's competition is a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions, so there's no reason not to enter!

Nowadays we take more shoots every 2 minutes than all of history up to 2003

In 2003, the average person took around 36 photos a year. Flash-forward to 2017 and that number has more than tripled to 134 photos per year! That's a lot of selfies!

Wedding photography as an industry

The wedding photography industry is now worth an estimated $2.5 billion and is expected to grow by another 5% in the next year. With weddings becoming increasingly extravagant, it's no wonder that photographers are cashing in on this growing trend!


Lensbaby is a company specialising in making creative lenses for DSLR cameras which create unique effects such as blur, soft focus and more. They've even got a lens that simulates the look of a Holga camera!

Dodging and burning

Dodging and burning is a technique used in photography to lighten or darken specific areas of an image. This was traditionally done by hand with dodging tools and burning tools, but can now be easily done in post-production software.


Adobe Photoshop is the most widely used photo editing software in the world and has been since its release in 1990. It's used by professional photographers, graphic designers, and more to touch up and manipulate images to their desired outcome.

First camera flash

The first camera flash was invented in 1940 and is still used today. It's referred to as a focal plane shutter because it allowed the very first electronic and automatic cameras to shoot with a flash at all times, hence why we now call them "flash" photos!

Left face side is everyone`s "good side"

As strange as it may sound, most people believe that the left side of their face is their good side. This is because when we look in a mirror, our left eye is dominant and this is what we see the most.

Instant photography

Instant photography was first developed in the 1940s and became popular in the 1970s with the release of Polaroid cameras. These cameras allowed you to take a photo and have it developed right in front of your eyes! However, with the rise of digital photography, instant cameras have become less popular over time.

Headless portraits

Headless portraits are a type of photography where the subject is completely missing from view. This can be done by cropping the head from the photo, or covering the head with another object such as a flower!

Seconds to minutes to hours

The amount of photos that we take each day is staggering - over 1 million pictures are shared on Instagram every 60 seconds! That's around 41 pictures per second and almost 3,600 pictures every minute. In just 8 hours, this number skyrockets to an astonishing 2 million shots, meaning around 10% of all photos taken in a year will be taken in one single day! By comparison, it took Kodak 33 years between 1888 to 1921 to sell their 1 billionth camera.

Never see a smile on old photos

Believe it or not, but the smile wasn't commonly used in photos until the 1930s. Prior to this, people would usually frown or simply look serious for their portrait shots. It wasn't until George Eastman (founder of Kodak) started a campaign urging people to "smile for the camera" that the smile became popularized!

The longest photo negative

The longest photo negative in the world is a whopping 309.2 meters long! It was created by photographer Andreas Gursky and took 6 days to shoot. The negative itself is made up of images taken from a public observation deck in Dubai.

Mobile photography

Since the release of the iPhone in 2007, mobile photography has exploded in popularity. With cellphone cameras getting better and better each year, more and more people are using their phones to take amazing photos that they wouldn't have been able to before. In fact, over 90% of all photos taken today are taken with a smartphone!

NASA uses photography to study space

Since its inception, NASA has used photography to study and document space. This ranges from astronauts photographing each other in space to the Hubble Space Telescope beaming back amazing shots of faraway planets and stars. NASA even has a program you can sign up for where they send your photos to space!

Be more attractive on group photos

Believe it or not, but there's a way to make yourself look more attractive in group photos. Simply position yourself so that you're slightly off to the side instead of in the middle of the photo. This will make you look more interesting and reduce the chance of people looking directly at the camera!

Drone photography

Drones are becoming an increasingly popular way to take aerial photos and videos. This is because they allow for shots that wouldn't be possible with a traditional camera, such as getting close-up shots of objects or landscapes from a high altitude.


Polaroids were first invented in 1948 by Edwin Land and became hugely popular in the 1970s. They worked by using a chemical process to develop a photo within a minute of taking it. While this type of photography is less common today due to digital cameras, the term "Polaroid" has been used more recently for smartphone apps that allow you to add filters and effects to your selfie pictures!

Video selfies

Vine was created in 2012 as an app that allowed users to post 6-second videos that would play continuously from one end to another. These videos became incredibly popular, with some getting up to 200,000 likes! Videos like these led many people's feeds on Facebook and Instagram to become filled with video selfies rather than traditional photos.


Lomography is a type of photography where cheap or old film cameras are used to take spontaneous, creative photos. This type of photography became popular in the early 1990s and is still going strong today. Some of the most popular cameras for Lomography are the Diana F+, Holga 120, and La Sardina 35mm.

As you can see, photography is a fascinating art form that has been around for centuries. With new technologies and apps coming out every day, it's only going to continue to grow in popularity! So next time you're snapping a picture, remember that you're part of a long tradition of photographers who have captured amazing moments in time. Thanks for reading!