History of Photography
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 sometimes have to shock their audience. Usually the images that are recalled are those that are the most compelling and the most horrifying.
These pictures stay with us and leave an important imprint in our minds. They burn themselves into our memory. A memorable photo must have impact, a visual impression which awakens something in the person looking at the picture. It can be a feeling of anger or a feeling of tenderness. It must evoke an emotional response in us that haunts us and causes us to think. A documentary photographer aims a camera at the real world and records the drama of life and death and everything in between. Photojournalists have brought us close to great world events.
They have shown us the world the way they have seen it. Even though we might be armchair participants, through the medium of photography, we have become “citizens of the world. ” Emily Rodd has been a PSA member for more than 20 years. Her main interest in photography is photo journalism. At 83, Rodd is a person with seemingly boundless energy. She has received innumerable awards from service and professional organizations across the country for outstanding professional achievement, superior leadership and exceptional service.
A popular speaker at camera club meetings, Rodd is known for her humorous personal anecdotes. One, she tells, is the time she and her husband were in Russia, She was photographing poverty stricken people when a Russian soldier sharply tapped her on the shoulder and made her follow him to a police station. After four hours of being detained and questioned, she thought She’d show her PSA membership card. Apparently it looked “official” enough because she and her husband were immediately released.