Today is World Photography Day, a global celebration of our favourite hobby/passion/art/science/vocation, call it what you will. As well as giving social media users worldwide the chance to share their images, a lot of other organisations are using the day to showcase some of the best images sent to it by photographers – the National Trust being a high-profile and potentially controversial example, given its disputes with some photographers over usage rights.

World Photography Day dates back to August 19, 2010, but why celebrate it on August 19 in the first place? On this date back in 1839, the French Academy of Science officially gifted the Daguerrotype photographic process to the world. The process was invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1837, although followers of Britain’s William Fox Talbot question whether he actually did take the world’s first proper photograph (a debate which rumbles on). See Daguerre’s earliest known image above.

Whatever, it’s great to see a day dedicated to serious photography, particularly as the value of images has never been so diminished. In our smartphone age, just about everyone takes pictures, and image theft is rife. Don’t forget to tell us about your favourite images of all time on our Facebook page here