First underwater self-portrait (selfie?)
Last updated: February 25, 2018 at 4:56 am
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.