10 Things About Photography That You Probably Never Knew

Here at H, we love photography so much so that most outsiders would assume that we know all there is to know about the medium. This is, in fact, far from the truth because there are so many interesting and fun facts about photography that we recently learned about. It’s like those lists online that explain 10 things you never knew happened to your body while sleeping. No matter how much you love to do something there will always be something new to learn about it each day. We decided to put together a list of the top ten facts about photography from the normal to the weirdly interesting. We hope you enjoy them. Let us know which facts we forgot in the comments.

1.) Hidden Mothers & Dead Children

Back in the 1820’s, it took several hours for a portrait of someone to be taken. It was easier to photograph adults who had the patience to sit for that long. When it came to children mothers would often have to sit disguised and covered holding their children so that a photo could be taken. They also had a very eerie way of taking photos of children that weren’t always received well. Children were photographed after they had died in order for them to stay still for the amount of time required. This can’t really be appreciated, but it is shocking. (Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash)

2. Every Two Minutes, We Snap More Pictures Than the Whole of Humanity did in the 1800’s.

It’s believed that only a few million pictures were taken in the 80 or so years before the first commercial camera was introduced. Now, we take photos all of the time with a simple touch of a button. Think of all of the photos people share on their social media alone. (Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash)

3. Cheerleader Effect

This refers to the fact that individuals seem more attractive in group photos rather than individual portraits. (Photo by Court Prather on Unsplash)

4. The First Human Subject

The oldest known photograph to have a human in the shot was clicked in Paris in the year 1883. The man was actually getting his shoe polished. (note: this is NOT the photograph this article refers to)

5. Left vs. Right Side

Scholars at Wake Forest University conducted a study in which they concluded that the left side of a person’s face produces a more pleasant photograph compared to the right side. They believe this happens because the left side has more emotional intensity compared to the right. (Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash)

6. World’s Saddest Photograph

The saddest photograph taken to date is one of a vulture stalking an emaciated child in Sudan. The photography taken by South African photojournalist Kevin Carter depicts the 1994 famine in Sudan. He won a Pulitzer Prize for the image but committed suicide not long after at the age of 33 because of all of the sadness he saw through his lens.

7. Cameras on the Moon

The moon’s surface is the graveyard for 12 Hasselblad cameras. They were brought up to space back during the first moon landing. In order to bring back rock samples from the moon, the cameras were left behind to compensate for the extra weight. (Photo of a Hasselblad Camera by Joe Ridley/Beth Martin on Unsplash)

8. The Inventor of Photography was Better Known for Other Things

The camera existed before photographs were invented. The first somewhat successful picture was taken by Joseph Nicepore Niepce. It took him eight hours of exposure to light and the end product was still fuzzy. He is better known for his invention of propellor boats.

9. The Most Viewed Photo in History

The photograph known as Bliss was taken in 1996 in Sonoma County, California by Charles O’Rear. The picture was taken using film on a medium format camera. You will recognize this photo from its place as a Windows XP background. Many people the photo was digitally manipulated, but O’Rear claims it never was.

10. A Photo of a Cute Child in your Wallet Will Save Your Money.

A study by a Scottish psychologist Richard Wiseman showed that you have more chances of having your lost wallet returned if there is a picture in there. They tested this by having people lose 240 wallets without contact information in them on the streets of Edinburgh to see how many would be returned. 42% of the total wallets were returned. 88% of the wallets with a picture of an infant in them were brought back followed by 53% of the wallets with puppy/dog photos. The wallets with no pictures in them were only returned 15%of the time. (Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash)