Photography is a process frequently used in areas of media, art, and science as well as practical everyday use. It is used to inform society of different issues, used to document a wide range of things and is used to capture everyday memories for the years to come. It is used everywhere in today’s society and through technology has advanced tremendously since its beginnings.
The earliest cameras were simple devices that did not capture an image but merely projected an image onto a surface. It was basically a large pinhole camera in the form of a darkened room or booth. These were used by artists as early as the 16th century. These were known as Camera Obscuras. They then improved this method by replacing the pinhole with a telescope lens. By the 17th century they even made this system portable in the form of sedan chairs. In 1727 the first photo-sensitive compound was discovered completely by accident by Professor J. Schulze. The mixture consisted chalk, nitric acid, and silver in a flask; and the professor noticed that the side of the flask exposed to sunlight, darkened. (Tom Ang:2001)After that many significant events
happened that resulted in the cameras we have today. These include NicÐ”©phore NiÐ”©pce merging the Camera Obscura with photosensitive paper in 1816 and then creating a permanent image in 1826. This image was exposed for eight hours and the lens was facing the window of his estate in central France. In 1829 Niepce paired up with Louis Jacques MandÐ”© Daguerre to improve on the current techniques used. Daguerre’s most important discovery came two years after the death of his partner in 1835.
He discovered silver iodine was more sensitive to the light and needed much less exposure time to create a fixed image. And then in 1837 he figured out a way stop the image darkening over time. He washed the remaining silver iodine away with a solution of salt and water. (Andy Grundberg:2005) From this photography developed and evolved over time and cameras became extremely convenient and easy to use. It has even branched out into the digital realm allowing endless possibilities to the world of photography.
Photography revolutionized the world in ways we can’t even imagine. Imagery is such an important part of our everyday lives and photography has created a convenient way to convey an image. Before photography came about the only way of having a permanent image of a person was to have a portrait painted. The only way of creating an image to show the scenery and landscape of a certain era was to have it painted or drawn. Nowadays we can take a snapshot and years later people can see the world as it was today. Photo’s have changed the world of journalism, creating a way for people to actually see what is going on, rather then just hearing about it.
Today we use photography frequently in our everyday lives and we are constantly surrounded by images that would not have been possible without photography. It’s considered a hobby for some, a business for others. Photography is a huge money making industry, from people taking pictures to sell to magazines to portrait photographers taking happy snaps of families at their best. Photography is used as a form of identification, showing us exactly how we are and proving we are who we say. It is used to sell products and advertise almost anything you can think of. It’s also used as a journalistic tool, to send a message to the world and inform others. It can be used as a learning aid and document scientific processes. Finally photography preserves our memories and gives us something to hold onto.
Some people say the future of photography is entirely digital. The digital world is taking over almost every aspect of our lives, so why not photography? Digital cameras have become extremely affordable and easy to use. I think there will always be a place for traditional film photography in this digital world. When you consider that before we even had photography we had paintings. And although photography took off and expanded greatly as a genre of art we still have paintings and people willing to paint. However the digital camera is not something to be ignored. It has made life a lot easier for people. It has changed the speed at which an image can be processed and how the image is processed. Also the image can be further manipulated through computer programs such as Photoshop.