August 19 is World Photo Day. The unofficial holiday, which is also sometimes known as Photo Day or World Photography Day, is an annual celebration of the art and science of photography.
Created in 2009 by Australian photographer Korske Ara, the day encourages people to pick up their camera and be inspired by other fellow photographers to take pictures and share them with the world.
A Modern Innovation
While photography is a fairly modern innovation, the human desire to capture moments and memories and share them with others is as old as the history of humankind itself. One of the oldest attempts to record events was through the discovery of the camera obscura. It is a device with a hole through which light passes and creates an inverted image of the scene outside. Known to have been used as a way to recreate events - artists would sketch or trace the image in order to record it - for centuries, the earliest records of camera obscura date back to 400 BCE China.
Photography, as we know it today, did not come about the early 1900s when people found a way to permanently capture a scene on a surface using chemicals that reacted to light. The earliest surviving photograph dates back to 1826 or 1827. It was taken by French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. The photograph is a view of Niépce's estate in Burgundy, France.
A Hobby of Many
Cameras and photography went through a lot of technological innovations in the 20th century. Today, the availability of affordable and high-quality digital cameras has made photography a widespread hobby.
How to Celebrate?
Whether you are an amateur, a professional, or someone who spends most of his or her day taking phone pictures and sharing them with your social media followers, World Photography Day is an easy holiday to celebrate. Here are some ways you can enjoy this day:
Learn and read more about the history and science behind photography.
If you have always wanted to learn photography, maybe today is the time to start taking lessons.
If you are a photographer, why not volunteer your time to teach your craft and trade to others?
Did You Know…
…that some 12 Hasselblad cameras were left on the Moon by various missions? Some suggest that this was done in order to compensate for the weight of rock and soil samples the astronauts brought back to Earth.