History of Photography

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The world's oldest existing photograph was taken on a summer day in 1827 by a retired French army officer. He called it a Heliograph (sun drawing). It took eight hours to expose.

Photography, however, did not really begin until 1839 when the world heard about something startling. Louis Daguerre had invented a way to permanently reproduce a fleeting image on a metal plate. It took 30 minutes to expose, not eight hours. The advent of this technology resulted in a new language that everyone understood. The language was photography, through which we could recall a moment frozen in time and could share it with others. More Articles of Interest

Through the power of photography we can bring back and recall a moment from our childhood. We can recall a moment of joy or sadness and share that moment. Because a picture captures the quintessence of a single moment and makes that moment permanent, we can look at it over and over again.

Through a picture we have a record not only of our past, but of our present as well. We can consider the medium of photography to be a supreme witness and recorder of the world, and the life we have fashioned upon it. Photographers record wars, injustices, poverty, human misery, and human joy.

The influence of photography through the years has been immense in influencing public opinion, documenting disasters, and showing us war in all of its frightening aspects. Many war photographers had great visions that the photographs they took showing the horrors of war might help prevent future wars. A great photographer once said, "I thought I was going to save the world with my photographs."

Almost all of the many thousands of Vietnam war pictures were seen by the world within days of their being taken. They were meant to be seen immediately. Many of these images we found disturbing and they had an effect on many of us. They moved us, made us feel sickened and engendered many of us in a sense of outrage.

To have an effect photographs...
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