The year was 1838.
The medium is not really a "photograph" but a daguerreotype.
The image was taken by the inventor of the medium himself, Louis Daguerre.
|Click on the photo for a much larger view!|
The "person" in the image is of a man getting his boots shined on the corner of a boulevard in Paris.
The sidewalks and streets of Paris were likely busy during the taking of the "snapshot" and not empty as the appear.
But, the process for taking the image took approximately 10 minutes.
Thus, anything that wasn't relatively still for 10 minutes did not appear on the daguerreotype.
Some have found images of other people on the photo like a man standing under an awning, a woman under a streetlamp, a person in a window, and a child peering through another window.
Do you see them, too?
A fine study of the image has been done by Nicholas Jenkins. See his blog for more information about this amazing picture.