Early Photography Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 August 2016

Early Photography

Photography nowadays becomes an accessible form of hobby. The latest technology used for photography appears to be affordable for everybody who wants to pursue a skill in taking photos. Before the digital age, photography is known to be a pricey and a hard task to be an expert with but due to the accessibility that modern technology offer, photography is enjoyed by people coming from all walks of life. Capturing a real still-life image is the groundbreaking phenomenon that photography presented when it was created.

The moment photography came to life; it opened an array of opportunities when it comes to media such as the television. Photography became established around early 1800s. The campaign for realism in any artistic endeavor flourished during the Renaissance period and the invention of photography was made out of that pursuit. Realism manifested in every form of art such as in sculpture, drawings, and paintings where the real-life images have been the goal of every artist to attain.

Though photography has been established as a branch of art and science, capturing images was a subject of research during ancient civilizations such as in the time of the great Greek philosophers. Simple devices were developed in attempting to capture real images and as realism became an intense motivation in the arts and the study of science, the invention of photography contributed to various disciplines of its capability to capture real images. The invention of photography provided a whole new venue and easier way of capturing reality.

Its popularity increased when sophisticated devices were further created and visual arts was taken into a different level. However, through the creation of photography, the interests to arts began to focus on taking real life pictures disregarding other forms of visual arts which were well-practiced before. Photography threatened painting and drawing because it brought the fullness and particularity of past reality alive in the present, a quality Benjamin calls the ‘spark of contingency.

’ The extension of industrial and mechanical means of reproduction to cultural products had a potentially transformatory impact on the traditional form of art. (Dant 115) This impact can be considered as the convenient use of cameras in photography. Unlike painting and drawing, producing does not take up so much time, inexpensive, and can be easily reproduced. Photography is indeed a breakthrough in the field of arts. It recorded the most important events in history with just one press of the shutter and reproduced and preserved throughout the years.

Technology became an artist’s company in terms of executing his or her own concepts. Photography is a discipline of art which has been enhanced by modern technology. Without its invention, there would be no visual records of historical details which can be shown to the future generations. The photos generated by early photography served as a time machine to show what happened in the past. The preservation of such events like the two major World Wars became possible because of photography. Restoration and reproduction became easier and did not require lots of work, unlike with painting and drawings.

Photography is an art. Just like painting and drawing, capturing the images from reality can be manipulated with usage of devices. In photography, to be able to achieve different results, natural light is the element in which it can be manipulated to be able to came up with an enhanced or various effects of a real image. The creative vision of the artist is the main tool for photography to consider as an art because the camera is just a tool and the settings are provided for the photographer’s use.

This vision is being performed in photography in manually positioning of artificial and natural light and the object itself through the lens. The works of modern photographers such as Cindy Sherman became known for their photos where they determine the position of lights and the objects. Photography is a discipline where there are theories to follow but for it be called an art, it is highly dependent on the execution of the photographer. References Dant, T. (2003). Critical Social Theory. USA: Sage.

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