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First Photograph Taken
Photograph by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

Ever wonder what the first photograph taken looked like?  As crued as it may be, it's still remarkable for it's time.  In 1826, French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, took that photograph, titled View from the Window at Le Gras, at his family’s country home. Niépce produced his photo—a view of a courtyard and outbuildings seen from the house’s upstairs window—by exposing a bitumen-coated plate in a camera obscura for several hours on his windowsill.


First Color Photograph
Photograph by James Clerk Maxwell

Best known for his development of electromagnetic theory, Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell dabbled in color theory throughout his life, eventually producing the first color photograph in 1861. Maxwell created the image of the tartan ribbon shown here by photographing it three times through red, blue, and yellow filters, then recombining the images into one color composite.




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"First Photos" For Your Viewing Pleasure

Ever wonder what the first photographs taken looked like?  With today's digital technology, just about anyone can snap professional photographs. But what about the inventors who pioneered photography?  What were their first photographs like? 
We hope you will enjoy our selection of "first photographs" and that they inspire you to create your own photograph gallery to share with loved ones and friends. 

One thing for certain, the photos certainly make us appreciate the sophistication and modernization of  cameras as we know them today.

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First Photograph Of Movement
Photograph by Edweard Muybridge

The settling of a debate—whether, during its gait, all four of a horse's hooves are simultaneously off the ground—first spurred English photographer Eadweard Muybridge in 1872 to look for a way to capture the sequence of movement. It took six years, but in 1878, Muybridge succeeded. He arranged 12 trip-wire cameras along a racetrack in the path of a galloping horse. The resulting photo sequence proved that there is a point when no hooves touch the ground and set the stage for the first motion pictures.


First Known Photograph Of A Tornado
Photograph courtesy NOAA An unknown photographer inspired legions of tornado-chasers when he captured the earliest known photograph of a tornado. The black-and-white image was taken on August 28, 1884, about 22 miles (45 kilometers) southwest of Howard, South Dakota.


First Nighttime Animal Photograph
Photograph by George Shiras

This flashlight photograph of a white-tailed doe with her fawns was among the world’s first nighttime photographs of animals, shot by photographer and wildlife enthusiast George Shiras. A pioneer in flashlight and trip-wire photography, Shiras captured this shot in Whitefish River, Michigan, around 1906, using a remote-control flashlight camera triggered when an animal stepped on the trip wire.

First Photo of the North Pole

In April 1909, Admiral Robert Peary and his team (pictured here), including Inuits Ooqeah, Ooatah, Egingwah, and Seeglo and fellow American Matthew Henson, became the first explorers to reach what they believed to be the North Pole. Later studies found that Peary was actually 30 to 60 miles (50 to 100 kilometers) short of the Pole. Photograph By Robert E. Peary

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