30 Surprising Facts About Photography You Didn’t Know

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Is photography a boring subject full of complicated science words? Can anyone learn this art without having to struggle with the difficult physics concepts? Unlike the science it once was, today, the profession has grown into a popular art that nearly everyone can practice. You don’t have to despair if you are just beginning your journey as a freelance photographer in Dubai

Learning photography can be a simple and exciting endeavor. We have come up with these 30 fascinating facts about photography to bring some charm and flavor to your knowledge about this subject. The points will bring you up to speed on the histories and transformations that photography has gone through to become the fun art it is today. 

30 Exciting Facts You Didn’t Know About Photography

Photography is a word that has its origins in Greek, meaning drawing with light. From the earliest inventions of pinhole cameras to the latest digital camera, art came a long way to make it what it is today. Here are some fun facts that can help illustrate this journey.

1. First Digital Camera Weight

The weight of the first digital camera was around eight pounds and shot images in black and white. The device took twenty-three seconds to record and store an image in a cassette that could save a maximum of 30 images. The discovery came in 1975.

2. Rapatronic Photography

A 1940s photography technique invention captured the first nuclear explosion fireball image. Rapatronic photography was the name given to the method which was invented by Dr. Harold Edgerton.

3. Post Mortem Photography

The phrase refers to taking pictures of dead bodies. It was a significant practice for the inception of photography in the 20th century. Back in those days, it is only the famous who had the privilege of being photographed, leaving the ordinary population with the option of doing it after death hence the term. 

4. First Color Photo

In 1861, James Clerk Maxwell pioneered the first demonstration of an actual color photo having photographed a tartan ribbon through a single-lens reflex camera under blue, yellow, and red filters.

5. Olden Days Camera Flashes 

A mixture of potassium chloride and aluminum produced a bright light when ignited with a spark. However, you must take caution when mixing the two chemicals to avoid an uncontrolled explosion.

6. Largest Camera Collection

Owning different types of cameras is an essential factor in your profession as a freelance photographer in Dubai. 4600 cameras were the most extensive ever camera collection owned by Dilish Parekh of Mumbai in India. He began his collection in the 1970s. 

7. Traditional Aerial Photo

The first aerial photography was taken in Paris from a hot air balloon in 1858. 

8. Camera Obscura

 The name is Latin for a darkroom. It was the first device that projected a clear image on a surface through the same principle as a pinhole camera. 

9. Oldest Photograph

The oldest surviving photograph and the first of its kind was taken in France in 1826 from an upstairs window. The image renders an estate Le Gras in the Burgundy region. Joseph Nicephore took the photo after eight hours of exposure. The picture is almost 200 years old.

10. Most Viewed Image

The most viewed image is the “Bliss” taken in 1996 by Charles  O’Rear, which Microsoft bought for its Windows XP default wallpaper.

11. Harmful Substances Used During Early Photography

The early days of photography involved the use of toxic chemicals like silver nitrate and mercury. Overexposure to these substances led to madness or even death. The residues dumped in open places degraded the environment and posed a health risk to the general public. But, thanks to digital cameras, photography has been made safe for the masses and the environment.

12. HDR

Gustav Le Gray invented HDR photography by combining two negatives. One captured the sea and another the sky.

13. The First Negative

Salted calotype is the term referred to as the first negative that was created by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839. He realized this invention by mixing silver iodide and gallic acid with silver nitrate.

14. Autofocus Camera 

The first world autofocus camera was invented in 1979 by polaroid. Minolta produced its version in 1985, which formed the basis for SLR cameras.

15. First Photo Of a Human

The first-ever image of a person was an accidental occurrence. It could have been by the fact that he overstayed at a shoe shiner while cleaning his shoes.

16. Selfie

Robert Cornelius took a picture of himself in 1839. It was the first selfie in history; however, the term selfie came to existence in the year 2002, courtesy of a drunk Australian.

17. Why Past Photos Had A Stiff Pose And No Smile

In the past photo, sessions took a long duration due to prolonged exposure making it extremely difficult to maintain a pose or a smile. It was even more challenging when it came to children’s photos. Mothers had to cover their heads and sit disguised as chairs in these photos to be able to calm the kids.

18. Photography As An Art

In the past society, photography often appeared as a science, and so photographers were scientists. However, Alfred Steiglitz introduced it as an art to the masses. He made it what it is known to be today as a form of art.

19. Most Expensive Picture

The world’s most expensive photo was taken in 1999 by Andreas Gursky. It is said to have cost a total of $7 million.

20. Colored Pictures In Modern Photography

Modern camera sensors capture all photos in black and white, before calculating the tints and adding color to the picture.

21. Pigeon Photography

This method was invented in 1907 by Julius Neubronner. The technique was used for aerial surveys and on the battlefields during the world war.

22. The 1800s Number Of Photos

The number of photos taken in the 1800s is equivalent to the number of photos taken in two minutes today.

23. Invention Of The Camera

The first camera capable of capturing images was invented in 1839 and was known as the daguerreotype. It was an essential breakthrough towards the simple digital photography art as we know it today. 

24. Motion Pictures

A moving image, as first captured in 1878, was an experiment to track the movement of horses, resulting in the invention of motion pictures.

25. Taking Photos in Space

Vibrations in the space stations make it difficult to photograph in space.

26. The First Photography Paper

Asphalt, which is also known as Bitumen, was the material used to make the first photography paper. It was a light-sensitive material.

27. The Cheerleader Effect

Research from California university states, People seem more attracted to group photos than their own portraits. Better known as the cheerleader effect.

28. World Record of Most Entries in Photography Competition

The most entries to ever enter a single photography competition was in 2012. The contest ran for 45 days and had 353,768 photos. The Wikipedia community organizes the annual competition dubbed Wiki Loves Monuments.

29. Early Photography In Covert Operations

The US Government spied on the Soviet Union long before the digital era. To succeed, they deployed 20 satellites with cameras and 60 miles long films. The films were then ejected back to the earth’s surface upon exhaustion.

30. Photoshop

It was invented by the Knoll brothers and sold to Adobe. The brothers created it in 1987 as an image pro. Adobe, later on, named it Adobe photoshop.


The thirty fun facts carry a rich history in the growth of photography. Besides, they give an exciting and straightforward introduction to this profession. There are thousands of other incredible facts on the topic. So, if you want a new method to master this art as a freelance photographer in Dubai, consider researching other interesting details on the internet. In that way, you will build your confidence and urge to become a successful professional photographer. 

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