paris firsts

The First Paris Aerial Photo

Thomas Pesquet just shared this photo he took on the International Space Station of Paris from above and it made me wonder … Who took THE FIRST aerial photograph of Paris?

VIew of Paris from the International Space Station, Thomas Pesquet 28 April 2021

That honor goes to old school adventure photographer Félix Nadar who sailed the skys of Paris in 1858 via hot air balloon with the help of two Aeronautique Pioneers, the brothers Louis and Jules Godard.

Soaring the skies via Fireball Balloon wasn’t exactly new technology at the time, The French were responsible for that FIRST too in 1783 thanks to another set of brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier. (fun fact- in French a hot air balloon is called a Montolfier)

(Nadar elevating Photography to Art), published in Le Boulevard, May 25, 1862.

Nadar holds the honor of being the first badass to take advantage of those heights and bring his camera along for the ride. Only 150 years (and a few kilometers) of difference between Thomas Pesquet and Félix Nadar’s aerial photos of the city of lights.

Same-ish view of Nadar’s photo today via Google Earth, taken near the Arc de Triumph and Avenue Foch

Unfortunately Nadar had a falling out with the brothers in 1863 and he prematurely ended his days of adventure photography.

JUST KIDDING! Where do you go when ground zero bores you and the skies are no longer within reach? Down of course! Where Nadar also made another historic FIRST. Check out the link below.

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