History of Photography

Topics: Photography, Daguerreotype, History of photography Pages: 3 (1166 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Since its invention in 1839, photography's unique powers of visual description have been used to record, report, and inform. People prefer to see things with their own eyes, but when this is impossible the camera can often serve the same purpose almost as well. It is not true that photographs never lie--they can be falsified and manipulated. Nevertheless, a photograph can carry a strong measure of authenticity and conviction. As a nonverbal means of communication, photography can surmount the barriers of language and communicate through universal visual symbols. Photographs are well suited for use in the mass media. Today they are reproduced by the billions, and they can be found everywhere: in the pages of newspapers, magazines, books, catalogs, and brochures; on display in billboards, shop windows, and posters; broadcast over television; and organized into slide shows and film strips. In photography's early days some of its most eagerly sought images were those brought back by explorers and travelers. These would satisfy people's curiosity about distant places like China, Egypt, and the American West. That same kind of curiosity exists today. People are fascinated with photographs of the surface of the moon, the landscape of Mars, and the appearance of other planets in the solar system. Photographs in the mass-communication media have made the faces of political leaders, popular entertainers, and other celebrities familiar to the publicSuch use may result in destructive propaganda, such as that of the Nazis during the Third Reich. Photography can also help to bring about desirable changes. Photographs of the Yellowstone region were instrumental in Congress's decision to establish that area as a national park, and photographs of child laborers helped to bring about legislation protecting children from exploitation. The word photography comes from two ancient Greek words: photo, for "light," and graph, for "drawing." "Drawing with light" is a way of...
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