The Development of Photography

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The Development of Photography
By
Jennifer Lewis
Humanities-303
Professor Dewberry

How Photography Started

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” ― Ansel Adams. When it comes to photography it has changed this world in many ways whether they were good or bad Photography has made us look at things in a totally different way. Today when people think of photography, they think of breathtaking sceneries and beautiful images of people and objects. Lets us go back to the beginning of how such an incredible device was created.

“1827, Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image with a camera obscura which many people used for viewing or drawing purposes. He realized by letting light draw the picture when it was on a metal plate coated in asphalt weould create an image. This first photograph required eight hours of light exposure to create and after appearing would soon fade away (Bellis, Mary June 2012)”. Before Niepce created the first photograph, people only used the camera obscura for viewing or drawing purposes. Niepce's heliographs,which also called in that time sun prints, were the prototype for the modern photograph, by letting light draw the picture. By using a sheet of pewter coated with bitumen (which is asphalt). The metal was placed inside a camera obscura; then Niepce pointed it out the window of his workroom. As the light created the image he then put oil of lavender and white petroleum together on the metal. The result was a permanent image of some neighboring buildings.

“There was a epistemological status of the early photograph by people such as William Henry Fox Talbot who were analyzing the specific scientific, philosophical, and aesthetic historical conditions within which the conception of photography took place (Maimon, Vered November 2011)”. The way he changed photography was he made images by putting objects on the paper under the bright sun. At first, he could view them only under dim candles, but then he created a way to fix the image so it could be seen in daylight. After another year, he then improved the sensitivity until he could expose pictures by admitting light into his cameras. The downfall was that all the pictures were negative ones. Light appeared as darkness, and dark was the same as light. Talbot kept revising and improving his chemical processes until 1841. He was then finally able to create multiple positive pictures from one of his negatives, which made this a huge breaking point. At that point, modern photography as we know it, was born.

“Photography’s role in art history as a medium of realism, and its connections to the labor movements of the 1850s. There many photographers who started taking pictures of the the bad things that were happening in the world. The more advanced photography got the more in demand it became by society. The biggest effect photography had was on World War II when people all over the would could see what war really was (Bear, Jordan and June 2010)”. A good example would be the photographic evidence of the Holocaust, and especially for the photos taken by Allied troops after the liberation of the concentration camps. This really opened people’s eyes to what was happening. Life magazine was the biggest magazines at that time to have captured so many horrific images. Twenty-one Life photographers logged 13,000 days outside the U.S.; half of that time was spent in combat zones. Because of the power these pictures had several were never revealed because of the devastation this war had ,brought upon many people in the United States. According to Becky Jones, “It allowed people to see things they might never have seen. It also has allowed news stories to carry a lot more impact because the shock from the image can drive a point home.  As they say, "A picture is worth a 1000 words" (Johns, Becky October 2010)”.

A huge moment...
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