The first photograph in history – by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce – View from the Window at Le Gras |circa 1826
Interestingly the first permanent photograph ever taken was not by an artist, but by inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. His fascination with printing led him to set up a camera obscura at his studio in France in 1826.
The window scene was cast on a pewter plate and presented a crude copy of the scene outside his window. It was an 8-hour exposure and there is only one copy, a positive image. This is why the image is somewhat confusing because the sun had moved across the courtyard during the exposure, causing shadows on both sides to appear.
His groundbreaking work paved the way for the development of modern photography.