Royal photo fans: Expand your knowledge with these ten facts about 19th century photography


posted Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 3:45 PM EST


Yesterday we saw a really cool video shot in a Mexican underwater cave using a Sony A7S, but did you know that the first underwater photograph was created way back in 1856 by William Thompson? This is but one of the fun facts included in The Telegraph's list of ten "useless but exceedingly interesting facts about 19th century photography."

British high society had interesting connections to photography in the 1800s. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were big fans of photography and even had a darkroom installed in Windsor Castle. The prominent pictorialist photographer Henry Peach Robinson created a copy of every one of his images for the royals.

Additionally, an elite photography club was created in London in 1892 for the purpose of furthering fine art photography. The Brotherhood of the Linked Ring was extremely difficult to gain entrance to, requiring new members to be unanimously approved by existing members.

The first underwater photo by William Thompson, 1856. This image is in the public domain.

It isn't too difficult to capture a good photo of the moon with modern equipment, but unsurprisingly it was much harder in the 1850s when American photographer John Adams Whipple worked with George Phillips Bond, an astronomer, to capture the first photo of the moon with the aid of the Great Refractor Telescope.

These are the people you needed to impress to gain entrance to the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring. Photograph by Hans Studio, date unknown.

There is much more to learn! To see the rest of the ten facts about 19th century photography, see here.

(Seen via The Telegraph. Index image made in 1877 by Henry Peach Robinson.)