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Photography and Its History Essay

Photography has been understood as both an art and a documentary medium. It has, in other words, been used to provide aesthetic experience and to record information. How did these divergent purposes coexist and conflict in photography’s early history?

Photography is a language system that conveys a message; it is portrayed in an appropriate way to allow essay readability. Since photography inventions, its major purpose has been to provide precise representations of objects, record information, and provide aesthetic value. However, modern photography came with more complexity, as it does not only utilize the camera as a means of recording technology but suggests numerous ways in which photography can bear witness in the world.

This is termed as documentary photography in which a value of a photograph is measured by its worth of objectivity, which depends on the subject matter, the perception of why it is taken, and the context in which the photograph is taken.

These changes were brought by the urge of photographers to seek photographs that document and influence social and political issues. Documentary photography is the most popular form of photography in the world today; its rules are intertwined with ancient photography. Photographers such as Robert Frank are accredited with developing this genre of photography. In the 1990s, Nicholas Nixon documented excessively the American life, in the same line, a South African photographer Pieter Hugo, documented the African traditions in the form of artistic presentation.

There are some important aspects that the world photographers focused on, such as the world of art and modern galleries, by showing people their works and obtain a source of income out of that. They embraced this kind of photography because it relates to long term projects that give long term stories, while photojournalism is more concerned with breaking news stories. An example of the modern kind of photography is the famous photo of the migrant mother taken by Dorothea Lange during the Great Depression. Others include Alfred S4eglitz (1864-1946), Equivalents, gela4n silver prints, 1923 and Gertrude Kasebier (1852-1934), The Bat, Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Death, gum pla4num print, 1902 lithograph, 1889

How are the histories of photography and modernity intertwined? How did modernity shape photography, and how did photography shape modernity?

Photography is characterized as modern art that supersedes traditional art. The major responsibility of photography is that it should be socially useful and relevant to modern society. The invention of photography was intertwined with modernization, which took place in the industrial revolution. It represents the modern structure of the image. At the beginning of the 20th century, photography was a source of mass communication. This meant that photojournalism acquired glamour and authority as newspapers and magazines diffused into the market. At this period, photographic artists sought photographs used in the mass culture so as to develop the aesthetic and intrinsic nature of photographic materials.

In Europe, Avant-garde artists broke down traditional art formations with a utopian aim to merge art with everyday activities. The modern photographers embraced a technological means in photography production, development of media practices to engage the social, political issue. Modernism did not concentrate on photography in particular, but it implicitly used a simplified way of explaining the worldwide value that erases its ideological meaning. The examples include Jabez Edwin Mayall (1810-1901), carte de visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 3 1⁄4 x 2 inches, 1861 and Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), Napoleon Bonaparte in his Study, oil on canvas, 80 x 50 inches, 1812

People have always been a popular photographic subject. In what ways were individuals and groups of people represented in early photography? What historical factors motivated these representational practices, and how did they affect understandings of identity and society?

The rise of photography in the 18th century considers with great American Indian change, a period characterized by wars, disease, and cultural disruption. The studio portrait and neutral ethnographic images of American Indians were made on the daguerreotype template on which they could tell a story of a community, for example, Louis-Jacques-Made Daguerre, Atelier, daguerreotype, 1837. When the Indian cultures bend into the pressure of mainstreaming the American civilization, most photographers captured images which compared a civilized Indian to the traditional bound Indian.

The early photographs were visual records that represented important people, their history and culture. The photographers accompanied the government expeditions in the west and Indian delegations in Washington D.C. these photos generated a national legacy the American Indian people that are of great significance of photo representation. The early photographs portrayed peoples’ way of lives, their struggles and their daily activities.

The photos sought to give stories of people, showcase their struggle and give insights on how people struggled under colonial rule and how they embraced civilization. Some more examples of photos taken on the early days include: Louis Daguerre, Studio SDll-Life, daguerreotype, 1837 and Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901), The Lady of Shallot, albumen print from two nega4ves, 1861.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Photography and Its History." January 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/photography-and-its-history/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Photography and Its History'. 12 January.

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