What Is Photography And A Brief History

The first camera was used for perspective drawing; it is a box with a pinhole called the Camera Obscura, meaning ‘Dark Room’ in Latin. Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer first used the term in 1604. The Camera Obscura is a box fitted with a Len in which it faces the targeted image to project an upside down image on a piece of paper therefore artist would trace that image on the paper.

Things started to change for the history of photography during the 17th – 18th century as we as human beings; it is natural for us to be driven to create something better.

In 1717, a German professor named Johann Heinrick Schultz first discovered that images could be recorded using silver nitrate on paper but was not able to sustain the image permanently. This was only the beginning.

Fast forward to 1822, a French artist named Louis Daguerra created the first camera in which he called ‘The Daguerro Type’. ‘The Daguerro Type’ would engrave an image onto a bitumen-coated metal plate calling this process ‘heliograph’. It was not until 1827, when a French inventor named Josph Niepce partnered with Louis Daguerra in which Josph Niepce would create the first permanent photograph named ‘View from the window at Les Gras’. It is the oldest and surviving photograph in history today. During this time, Photography was born.

After a short brief of history in photography, the real question is ‘What is Photography?’

The word ‘Photo’ comes for the Greek word, ‘Light’ and ‘Graph’ means drawing so putting together Photo + Graph means Drawing with light. Photography is art and science combined. It is creating images using light being expose to paper. It is recreating what you see and creating a memory and a story to tell.

In photography, there are many styles and I will only be touching on the general, as creativity is unlimited. Let break photography into 3 general styles. They are Artistic, Documentary and Commercial. All in all the formats are the same, it either film, digital or video.

Firstly will talk about Artistic photography in which artistic is wide and experimental. It is the photographer that tells his story from his image. It can go as wide as taking landscape, architecture, street performance or art and people’s expression or body language. It could be planned or natural depending on the nature of your story.

Secondly, documentary is a little different. It can be artistic in some ways but this type of photography is normally a long process and deals with real life situation and cultures. As it is hard to determine what real and what not nowadays it all depends on the nature of the photographer. It is a report scenario in which putting together what you have shot and telling your story through that sequence.

Lastly one of the most common and widely recognized photography types is commercial photography. Commercial photography means paid photography in which you are paid by a company or client to create artistic photographs. Few examples like weddings, advertising or fashion shows. In commercial photography, photographers uses a lot of equipment like spot lights and softener etc. to manipulate the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ of photographs and it is known to break most rules in photography for it unconventional methods.

Photography involves a lot of introspection the deeper you get, the more you tuned to what you are interested in, how you feel, and what you want to say to the viewers. As you shoot, you learn about yourself, your values and a different perspective of the world around you. Photography is a fantastic story telling medium and the possibilities are endless.