With technology evolving the way we take photos, it is much easier to take a hidden photo than during the 19th century.
Most of the photos from the 1800s are mainly seated, posed images that somehow give the impression that everyone in the 1800s was elegant and composed. But, even back then, it was possible to take hidden photos of people without them knowing. But it wasn't that easy.
A clever Norwegian student, Carl Stormer, has provided us with a hidden glimpse of life in the 1890s. Stormer, who was born in 1874, died in 1967. He was a student of mathematics when he purchased his first hidden camera. Even back then, the spyware's lens was so small that it fitted through the buttonhole of a vest. There was a cord that led down to the pocket, which allowed them to secretly take photos.
It was, however, a secret crush that led him toward photography. In his biography Fellows of the Royal Society, Stormer wrote the following. "When I was a young man at Oslo University, I fell in love with a lady whom I did not know and with whom I was too bashful to become acquainted."
Wishing to at least have a picture of her, he decided that this was possible only by taking her photograph himself, without her knowing.
Even though the love affair came of nothing, his love for photography grew, and he continued to capture images. He loved snapping surreptitious pictures of people on Karl Johansgate, the main street in Oslo, while studying from 1893 to 1897.
As a result, Størmer took close to 500 hidden images of various people in casual and relaxed states. Friendly salutations and suspicious glances play out across his work, which was a result of Størmer greeting his subjects and then snap away as they approached. These photos serve as some of the first examples of street photography in history.
He was known for closely studying the Aurora Borealis and never left behind his photography roots. He was, however, a successful mathematician and physicist and taught at the University of Oslo for 43 years.
When Størmer was close to his 70s, he arranged an exhibition of his street photography for all to see.
Nowadays, portions of his work, including his photos and texts on astrophotography for amateurs, are available for all to remember him.