Photography & Imaging Guinness World Records

Just2know : There is no knowledge that is not power
Just2know : There is no knowledge that is not power

Photography & Imaging

On average, more photographs are taken every two minutes today than were taken in the whole of the 19th century.

Total number of photos taken each year


Robert Cornelius (USA) took this selfportrait in Oct 1839. It is a daguerreotype -an early photographic process employing an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapour. He would have had to sit for up to 15 min to allow the necessary exposure time as he posed in the back yard of his family’s lamp and chandelier store in Philadelphia, USA. On the back, Cornelius wrote:

“The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”

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building ‘■®’?.^’hPin°a sharp, despite being

magnified to such .



Hoax photograph

In Self-Portrait as a Drowned Man (1840), Hippolyte Bayard (FRA) shows himself slumped to one side, as if he had committed suicide.

He created the image as a protest for never receiving what he believed was his rightful credit for inventing photography. Instead, the process was attributed to Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre (FRA) and William Henry Fox Talbot (UK).

Durable colour photograph

James Clerk Maxwell (UK) first suggested a three-colour method of producing a chromatic image in 1855. On 5 May 1861, an image of three colour separations of a tartan ribbon was created from a photograph taken by Thomas Sutton (UK).

Underwater colour photograph

In 1926, National Geographic photographer Charles Martin and Dr William Longley took a colour shot of a hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus) in the Florida Keys, USA. Martin used a specially designed waterproof camera housing, and the scene was lit with magnesium flash powder ignited on a raft on the water’s surface.

Orbital images of Earth

On 14 Aug 1959, orbiting at 17,000 mi (27,358.8 km), NASA’s Explorer 6 satellite took the first image of Earth. Its “camera” was a scanning device with a small analogue electronic processor called “Telebit”. It took 40 min to transmit back to Earth the 7,000 pixels each .^frame of an image comprised. The first image was of the crescent Earth.

Image of bonds forming in a chemical reaction

In May 2013, researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, USA, took the first high-resolution images of carbon atoms breaking and reforming bonds in a chemical reaction. The team were making graphene nanostructures, and used an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) for close study.

Q: What does the word “photography” mean literally?

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Digital image of the Moon

For four years, starting on 11 Dec 2011, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured the north pole of the Moon in stunning detail, using two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) and a Wide Angle Camera (WAC). The LRO team created a 680-gigapixel composite picture of the Moon’s north pole region from a total of 10,581 images.

Photographic negative

A print called The Great Picture was created over the nine months leading up to 12 Jul 2006 by six photographic artists known as The Legacy Project. It shows the control tower, buildings and runways at the US Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Southern California, USA. Aided by 400 volunteers, artists and experts, the team turned an old aircraft hangar into a giant pinhole camera. They applied 80 litres (21.1 US gal) of gelatin-based silver halide emulsion to a seamless canvas 111 ft (34 m) wide and 32 ft (9.8 m) high. The image was developed using 2,300 litres (607 US gal) of developing fluid and

4,500 litres (1,188 US gal) of fixing solution.


On 18 Dec 2000, Shinichi Yamamoto (JPN) printed an image 145 m (475 ft 8 in) long and

35.6 cm (14 in) wide. It was taken from a negative

30.5 m (100 ft) long and 7 cm (2.75 in) wide, created with a hand-made panoramic camera.

Print from a pre-digital film photograph

For the Diamond Jubilee of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II, a 100 x 70-m (330 x 230-ft) print of a photograph taken of the Royal Family during the Silver Jubilee was erected in front of Sea Containers House in London, UK. Eight specialists took more than 45 hr to position the separate sections, finishing on 25 May 2012.


As measured on 6 Aug 2015, the panoramic image with the highest FA”. resolution comprises 846.07 gigapixels and shows the Malaysian ^J ‘ city of Kuala Lumpur in all its glory. It was created by Tan Sri Dato’

Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing and Limkokwing University of Creative ^ Technology (both MYS) in Kuala Lumpur. The image was taken from the .’T .■ li, Kuala Lumpur Tower. A gigapixel is 1 billion pixels – more than 80 times greater than the resolution of an iPhone 7 camera (see right).


1930: 1 bn 1960: 3 bn 1970: 10 bn 1980: 25 bn 1990: 57 bn 2000: 86 bn 2012: 380 bn 2015: 1 tr 2017: 1.3 tr (est.)

350 million

new photos are added to Facebook every day

60 million

€2.16 m

(£1.73 m; $2,8 m):


On 16 Jul 2010, Instagram’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom (USA) uploaded a picture of a golden retriever to the app, which was then known as “Codename”. The names of the dog and its owner are not known, but the foot in the picture belongs to Systrom’s girlfriend. The image was taken at a taco stand named Tacos Chilakos in Todos Santos, Mexico.


The earliest documented photograph still in existence was taken by Nicephore (born Joseph) Niepce (FRA) in 1827, using a camera obscura. It shows the view from the window of his home, the estate Le Gras in France’s Burgundy region. Rediscovered in 1952, the image is now in The Gernsheim Collection at the University of Texas in Austin, USA.


On 13 Oct 1860, James Wallace Black (USA) took this shot of Boston in Massachusetts, USA, from the tethered Queen of the Air hot-air balloon at an altitude of c. 2,000 ft (609 m).

The first-ever aerial photograph was taken by Nadar, aka Gaspard-Felix Tournachon (FRA], in 1858. He photographed the French village of Petit-Bicetre (now Petit-Clamart) from 80 m (262 ft) in a tethered air balloon. None of his aerial shots survive.


Russell Kirsch (USA) created this image of his son, Walden, in 1957 at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC, USA. At the time, Kirsch was working on the first internally programmable computer in the USA, the Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC). He developed equipment that translated his picture into binary code. The image measured 176 by 176 pixels.


Hungarian-British physicist Dennis Gabor developed the theory of holography in 1947. However, it was the invention in 1960 of the laser – whose coherent light could capture a holographic image – that enabled Emmett Leith (USA) and Juris Upatnieks (USA, b. LVA) of the University of Michigan to produce the first hologram. Created in 1962, its main subject was a toy train.

On 18 Jul 1992, computer scientist Silvano de Gennaro (ITA) photographed his girlfriend Michele Muller with her comedy doo-wop band Les Horribles Cernettes.

A few weeks later, his colleague Tim Berners-Lee (UK) asked for an image to test some new features of his pet project, the World Wide Web, so Silvano sent over the picture as a 120 x 50-pixel GIF.


JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is one of the best-known digital-image formats. It was developed to standardize techniques for digital-image compression and is utilized in imagery on the internet and digital cameras. The earliest images that use the J PEG compression method are a set of four test images used by the JPEG Group called Boats, Barbara, Toys and Zelda, created on 18 Jun 1987 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

French zoologist Louis Marie-Auguste Boutan first used his self-invented submarine camera in 1893. But it was not until 1899 that he created a special flash, enabling him to make an underwater image of a recognizable subject. Produced that year, his portrait of Romanian oceanographer and biologist Emil Racovitza was taken on a dive in Banyuls-sur-Mer in the south of France.



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