World Photo Day is about celebrating the ability we have to communicate though this powerful visual medium.
Today, we can share memories across the globe in seconds. Photography is an invention that has revolutionised the way we see the world. We can visit places without leaving our home. We can share adventures with friends in another city and we can watch grandchildren grow up thousands of kilometers away.
There was once a time when photography didn't exist.
Origins of World Photo Day
World Photo Day originates from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic processes developed by Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre in 1837. On January 9, 1839, The French Academy of Sciences announced the daguerreotype process. A few months later, on August 19, 1839, the French government purchased the patent and announced the invention as a gift "Free to the World".
In 1839, William Henry Fox Talbot presented a paper to the Royal Society of London describing his photographic invention, the Calotype. This was the first photographic process that was based on negatives, allowing for multiple copies of a singe photograph to be produced. The celluloid based film introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1884 uses the same principle as the Calotype.
It should be noted that the Daguerreotype wasn't the first permanent photographic image. In 1826, Nicèphore Nièpce captured the earliest known permanent photograph known as 'View from the Window at Le Gras' using a process called Heliography.
August 19th, 1839 was chosen as the date behind World Photo Day based on the following historical merits:
- The Daguerreotype was the first practical photographic process.
- The purchase and release of the patent by the French government.
- The announcement of the Calotype by Henry Fox Talbot
Founding of World Photo Day
In 2009, Korske Ara, a passionate young photographer from Australia launched the World Photo Day Project with the dream to unite local and global communities in a worldwide celebration of photography.
On August 19th 2010, World Photo Day hosted it's first global online gallery. With 270 photographs shared and website visitors from over 100 countries, this marked the first official, globally reaching World Photo Day.
Since the launch of the project, we've heard from people that have been celebrating photography on August 19th in their local communities prior to 2010. There's also evidence of an attempt to start a June 1st photography celebration in 2005. We acknowledge this history of previous celebrations and believe that it demonstrates that the passion behind photography is the foundation of World Photo Day.
World Photo Day wouldn't be the project it is today without the support of the following people who were willing to see the potential of World Photo Day.
Richard O'Neill: Richard developed v1.0 of the World Photo Day Gallery which accepted over 270 photographs when we first launched on August 19th, 2010. The start of a global celebration
Adam Leayr: As good mates do, Adam put up with endless nights of "could we's" and "how about's" as we spent hours coding, brainstorming and eating pizza in his lounge room. A tradition that continues on today.
Ian Oswald: Ian has helped configure and manage our infrastructure backend using really cool technologies including NGINX, Apache, MySQL and HAProxy. Every team needs a Geek like this guy.