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The Untold Story of the Web's First Photo

It's a Photoshop disaster, but still charmingly hot.

The first photographic image ever uploaded to the web was a Photoshop disaster. It was created to sell something and featured attractive women in a come-hither pose.

In short, photo-uploading was born with some original sins that never quite washed away.

Next Wednesday, July 18, the photograph at the center of that image—a homemade promotional shot for Les Horribles Cernettes, a comedy band based at the CERN laboratory near Geneva—will turn 20 years old. Despite the artifact’s world-historical significance, its full story has never been told. Few enthusiasts of art or photography or technology will be marking its 20th birthday, in no small part because it’s such an odd and un-artistic image.

“It’s sort of terrible and charming,” said Lesley Martin, a photo scholar at the Aperture Foundation, after being shown the image for the first time. She added, however, that amateurism is par for the course with photographic firsts. The first known photograph, for example, was of a semi-visible rooftop, seen through a window.

Read the rest over at Motherboard.