Two Centuries of Street Photography: An Incredible Compilation

Street photography has captured windows into history across almost two centuries now, and taking a tour through a collection of them is an amazing look at society, individuals, and more and their evolution. Check out this fantastic compilation that shows a photo from every year starting all the way back in 1838.

Coming to you from Guy Jones, this great video is a compilation of street photos from every year starting in 1838 and ending in the present day. I've always personally found the very first photograph quite fascinating. Taken by Louis Daguerre, it was an approximately seven-minute exposure showing the Boulevard du Temple, and due to the long exposure, pedestrians and vehicles didn't show up in the image. However, in the lower left corner, you can see a man getting his shoes shined, his relative stillness allowing him to be visible in the long exposure. It turns out that this is the first ever photograph with a discernible human in it. It is just the start of a very amazing and fascinating tour through both history and photography history, and it's well worth taking the time to watch it. Check it out above. 

Note: One small correction concerning the 1906 photograph: this was taken after the 1906 earthquake, not hurricane. 

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4 Comments

Anete Lusina's picture

Really enjoyed this. Grab a coffee, sit back and relax watching this.

EL PIC's picture

200 years and every technical improvement (handheld cameras, roll film, tri-pak color, 24hr then1hr process, instant, digital) have promoted a commodity market.
The French government knew what it was doing by not allowing photography to be patented and remain free for all.
Digital was the cream that increased all types of photographers by 2 - 3 orders of magnitude .. Like It or Not !!

very interesting sequence. It is noteable that roughly all images from about 1970 on show a lack of quality, which I think reflect the increase of handheld consumer cameras. Many of these pics look "snaphotty", whereas most of the images prior to the 70s / late 60s were most propably shot by professional photographers.

Very cool video. Few thoughts here. I thought 2001 should of Featured photos from New York on 9/11. If 1912 is a year we remember the titanic and it’s on here why isn’t the single day that changed the world forever. Aren’t you showing pictures from the world? Was sort of disappointed in the final 40 or so photos. While the entire thing was very cool the quality of the images sort of just...stayed the same or got worse. Not indicative of the times. The music wasn’t mentioned though and I thought that was really cool as it progressed. Once again until the last few years hahah. Very cool overall