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Photography: History and Evolution!

While I’m a graphic designer, I have a passion for photography and photo editing, and I think it’s very beneficial for designers to expand their skills to include photography. Besides the extra source of income, photography helps designers generate different ideas about design that they can include in their work. Personally, I like portrait photography the most, and I’ve started to do small sessions with family and friends.


Getting into the photography world involves learning photography basics and buying a camera, along with lenses and accessories. One thing that people might miss is the necessity of reading about the history of photography: how did it start and how was it used. While I was in school for my BA, I took a history of photography class, and I learned a lot. Today, I would like to share a small piece of this history that could lead you to do your own research into this astounding field.


Photography is the ultimate tool for capturing things around us in a realistic way. Because of the nature of capturing photos, it has affected the way we remember things from our past. From global past events and wars to national and familiar occurrences, photography has formed the way we remember things.



Photography has always been an important part of society’s interpretation and understanding of particular international events. Beginning with Nick Ut’s “The Terror of War” that describes a young girl in Vietnam after her village was scattered with napalm, Nilüfer Demir’s photograph of a drowned Syrian boy trying to escape the terrors of war, to Matt Black’s “Geography of Poverty”, that works to raise awareness of hunger in modern-America. All of those photographers’ images have one thing in common, they helped to build and raise our awareness about issues around the world, and they’ve been able to affect the way resolutions about these issues that have been made. While their achievements might never be proven, it's important to study the relationship between these images and the change they perilously fought for.


Photography helped history to be strengthened with visual proof that gives more objectivity than paintings ever did. We can remember history not just because of our excellent memories, but because of photography. We sometimes experience feelings of longing when seeing images from the past that can be forgotten or we never know about. It brings substantial feelings back from a picture in our memory. Nearly all families value their photographs because they tell their stories. So, without photography, history, world history, and our memories would-be just vague memories.


Researchers found that remembering within photographs might surpass different forms of understanding. When watching reality display through the lens of a camera and then on our screens, we’re getting just a small part of the experience. In different words, while visually engaged, we miss out on other significant sensory info.


Photos can be a kind of cognitive offloading. Convinced that the camera is doing the hard work of recording the information, we pass part of our memory onto its digital memory. “You don’t need to remember as well because you know the camera can ‘remember’ for you,” says study co-author Jennifer Soares, a doctoral candidate at UC Santa Cruz. “Like when you take a photo of your parking spot number and don’t bother to try to remember it.” While photos help us remember our experiences, the number of photos and the platforms that we use to save them and share through makes it easy to forget them.


Thinking about the future of photography where it might go, I would imagine better and easier ways to save photos quickly after taking them in one place/drive with less effort. Also, I think people are missing holding photo print in their hands and many started to print photos they have on their device on a regular basis. The future of photography might also change with AI (artificial intelligence), Google Clips is an example of where photography is going. Google Clips is an AI-powered camera that can determine when the lighting or composition is great and release the shutter by itself. This implies that we are no longer far from getting a completely automated photographer. The reviews of Google Clips are not very good, but the idea has been certainly growing.

Resources

Alegria, Federico. “Here's Proof That Photography Has Changed The World.” Edited by Dahlia Ambrose, Light Stalking, 27 Mar. 2018, https://www.lightstalking.com/how-photography-changed-the-world/.

Bansal, Mohit. “Future: Artificial Intelligence and Photography.” Hackernoon Newsletter, 3 June 2019, https://hackernoon.com/future-artificial-intelligence-and-photography-3346457970f0.

Lavoie, Stephane. “Modern Photography Is Changing How We Remember Our Lives.” Medium, OneZero, 9 Aug. 2019, https://onezero.medium.com/modern-photography-is-changing-how-we-remember-our-lives-4b59adab4a2e.

THOMPSON, ALEX. “When Photography Changed the World.” PetaPixel, 16 Nov. 2016, https://petapixel.com/2016/10/31/photography-changed-world/.


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