First underwater self-portrait (selfie?)

By | 2018-05-15T14:39:37+00:00 April 9, 2017|Records, Underwater Imaging|

First underwater self-portrait (selfie?)

Last updated: May 15, 2018 at 14:39 pm

1893 — Louis Boutan took an underwater self-portrait at a depth of 3 m (10 ft) using a camera known as the Detective which he inserted into a wooden housing that he designed with his brother Auguste. Before taking the photo, Boutan had to dive in hardhat gear to install the small housed camera on the sea bed by means of a custom tripod. Focusing was not required at distances under 3 m (10 ft) and plates could be changed underwater by means of a lever, i.e. the diver could take multiple photos without having to surface. In order to function properly, the housing was equipped with a compensation ‘balloon’ that equalised its internal pressure with that of the surrounding water. Photos taken with Boutan’s first underwater camera housing normally required an exposure time of 10 to 30 minutes, which would suggest that this particular image was taken more quickly to allow for a breath-hold pose.


EDITOR’S NOTE
Contrary to popular belief, Boutan did not take the first underwater photo. The first underwater image and the first half & half image (split shot, over-under) were taken by Englishman William Thompson in 1856.
Although the resulting image is highly similar to modern self-portraits, Boutan’s photo was debatably not what is nowadays (2018) known as a “selfie,” which instead refers to a self-portrait taken with a smartphone or camera held at arm’s length, using a selfie stick, or in front of a mirror.
BOUTAN, Louis. 1900. La Photographie Sous-Marine.
BOUTAN, Louis. 1898. L’instantané dans la photographie sous-marine. Archives de zoologie expérimentale et générale, t. 6, n. 3, pp. 305-330.
BOUTAN, Louis. 1893. Mémoire sur la photographie sous-marine. Archives de zoologie expérimentale et générale, t. 1, n. 1, pp. 281-332.

Comments are moderated: (1) Stay on topic (2) Be respectful (3) Refrain from vulgarity and abusive language (4) Do not publish materials that violate copyright. OFFENDING COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED.
In order to ensure your browsing experience is as enjoyable as possible, banners are kept to an absolute minimum, which means that advertising revenues alone cannot sustain this 100% FREE publication. Researching and updating the Diving Almanac requires a lot of time and dedication. If you believe the diving community needs a central body of information to record, validate and make available our shared history and accomplishments, please show your support by making a contribution to the Diving Almanac via PayPal (Porbeagle Press). Thank you!

Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.