Taken in 1838 in Paris, this is the earliest known photo of a human being. Photographer Louis Daguerre took the picture with around seven minutes of exposure time.
Take a closer look. Can you see the man?
He’s standing in the bottom-left, having his boots shined. Although the image appears deserted, this street in Paris was actually bustling with traffic and pedestrians. But everything was moving too fast to register on the plate of the camera.
Here’s the photo in reverse to show the view as the photographer saw it:
Thankfully, the man in the photograph stood still long enough to appear in the photo. But the person shining his boots appears not as distinctly.
The original image photographic plate measured only 6.5 inches by 8.5 inches. But upon much closer examination, it reveals other possible human beings in the photo.
This part of the image shows a person with a cart or a pram.
A person’s face in the window of the building.
Sheer luck earned this guy a place in the history of photography. Too bad we’ll never know his identity.