World Photography Day – The Origin and Evolution of Photography

The Origin of World Photography Day

world photography day - The daguerreotype which was the first camera

Imagine a world without instagram, facebook, youtube; social media wouldn’t be what it is today without photographs. The world as we know it, wouldn’t be the same without photographs. In other words, the world as we know it today, wouldn’t exist without Frenchmen Louis Daguerre developing a photographic process which was named after him as the Daguerreotype.

louis daguerre, invented the first camera

As the world celebrates World Photography Day or World Photo Day on August 19th, 2020, lets take a look at the origin and the evolution of photographs over the years. 

How did the Daguerreotype Come into Existence?

Louis Daguerre, a French artist, had immense love for theater design, painting and architecture. He teamed up with Nicéphore Niépce, an inventor who was famous for inventing the first ever surviving camera photograph.

Niepce died in 1933, before the two came up with the Daguerreotype, however, Daguerre continued experimenting and soon the world had the Daguerreotype, the world’s oldest camera, which marked the origin of World Photography Day.

On August 19th, 1839, The French Government presented the Daguerreotype as a gift from France to the world, and this is why August 19th is celebrated as World Photograph Day every year. 

What is the Significance of World Photo Day / International Photograph Day?

World Photograph Day is celebrated every year on August 19th, as a way to celebrate the origin and the evolution of photography. World Photography Day encourages people from all walks of life, across the globe to share their photographs with others, and in doing so add more sparkle, vibrancy, color and exuberance to the world.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that photography, as a form of art and expression has helped a lot of people in dealing with the stress in their life

The Evolution of Photography over the Years

A photo taken in the 1830sJust like any other great invention, the camera has seen several updates over the years. These updates can easily be seen in the quality of pictures that has improved over time. On the right, you can see a picture taken in the 1830s. 

For several decades, the world knew of only black and white photographs. But that would change in the 1860s. The first color photograph made by the three-color method suggested by James Clerk Maxwell in 1855,  was taken in 1861 by Thomas Sutton. The subject is a colored ribbon, usually described as a tartan ribbon. The First Color Photo

The Three color method was only one of the many ways used to add color to photographs, it was highly inconvenient and time consuming to add color to photos that way, which is why many inventors experimented in the labs to figure out a more convenient and faster way to take colored photographs. 

However, just like any great invention, it wasn’t an easy task and many inventors started thinking of it to be a pipe dream. It was not for several more decades that color photography became a common practice and accessible to the public.

Several photographers remained skeptical about the idea of colors in photographs and it was greatly debated among photographers when colored photographs first became accessible to everybody in the 1930s, with black and white images still being the more respectable form of art. 

To Conclude

I am still a fan of black and white photographs but aren’t you glad, we had these amazing inventors that contributed and gave us this incredible gift of colors to capture this beautiful, vibrant world that we live in? Lets celebrate the history and the evolution of the camera and photography by sharing some of your best photographs on social media.

Don’t forget to tag them #WorldPhotographyDay, for a chance to be featured on They are currently accepting submissions for photos and you might be one of the lucky ones to be featured on their website. Good Luck! 


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