After the invention and popularity gained by photography through a simple box we call a camera, there was an unavoidable rush into mass producing photo prints. But it did not take place over night. With the arrival of cameras, our lives have been indelibly changed, as now we are capable of recording for posterity personal histories and our progress (or regression!) over the course of decades.
It is said that each picture speaks for itself and that a picture is worth a thousand words. For example, snapshots and film taken in the midst of war and political turmoil have a great impact on people around the world. Additionally, the very concept of privacy has been challenged and altered with the recording of public figures as well as the average "Joe" on the street. Cameras are used to capture almost any type of event, including as proof of events that might otherwise be dismissed with skepticism. (Consider, for example, crimes captured on film but nowhere else.)
Art of Photography
The view of photography as an art form had little popularity in its infancy. The value of pictures was perceived as more for pragmatic usage than to capture beauty. This "newcomer" was challenged by people with an artistic bent, as well as by critics from around the world. The benefits to be derived from photography would be for its craft value, and little more.
Removing the Restrictions
Acceptance constraints on photographers were gradually stripped away when museums and art schools embraced photography as a legitimate form of art; the trend still exists today. They began to dismiss strict and narrow limitations established by the norms of the culture and made headway into the usage of this emerging art for aesthetic acceptance and documentary work. In the decade of the 1960's, photography had made significant inroads to the world of visual arts. Since then, the art of photography has been combined with other creative means of expression, such as computer imagery and as part of mixed media.
Application of Photography
On a practical level, photography has many niches. It is used as an important tool in quite a number of fields such as military activities, education, commerce, medicine, and more. The realm of science has been a beneficiary of photography as well. It can be used for aerial maps of geographical terrains, geology, meteorology and other important fields of endeavor.
New Digital Era
As the 21st century arrived, photographic images were able to be altered through digital imaging software packages. The introduction of digital photography changed the very nature of photography. The standard method of taking pictures was to pass light through a lens and an emulsifying process; color filters and sensors produce the image. Digital photography uses three filter layers for an image. Each only permits one color, such as green or red or blue.
Photography was introduced to the world over 100 years ago and its innovations continue. This helps to give us hope that there are still many more creative uses to come!