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How Photography Changed the World

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Taking pictures is the world’s most popular hobby. We use it to document family milestones, capture beauty, reveal the ugliness of war, and stalk celebrities. Photography has changed the world way more than any other thing in the media (because photography is used in film and television). Our world no longer has its focus on words and paintings, but now it is focused on the photograph. There are several effects on how photography has changed the world: the civil war, social network, medicine, outer space, and society.

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First, historians say that photography changed the war in several ways. Intense images of battlefield horrors by Matthew Brady (photographer) were presented to the public for the first time at exhibits in New York and Washington, many later reproduced by engravings in newspapers and magazines of the time. (Niller) During the American Civil War, the people were shocked by the photographs of battle when they were published in the newspapers. (Salama) This was the first time war had been photographed for the public, and the first time they had seen the reality of death.

(Salama) Before this, they only heard stories and were told of the heroes, but these stories were not always true. (Salama) When they saw the pictures, the fields of the dead, the blood on the ground, people running around with a gun in their hand and blood all over their body, their ideas of war were totally changed. (Salama) They had heard of death, but actually seeing it was a whole different story. (Salama) They began to look at war as a more serious life or death situation. (Salama) “Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it,” wrote the New York Times on Oct. 20, 1862 about Brady’s New York exhibit just a month after the bloody Battle of Antietam. (Niller)

Second, people have made social networking sites to post their daily stories and interests through photography. A social network is an online site that focuses on and builds the social relations among people who may be having common interests or are involved in common activities. During the last ten years, the internet was once considered a great hangout for nerds, and became one of the most important communication tools in the world. (Salama) A large element of this communication is the uploading, sharing, and downloading of photographs. (Salama) In Facebook alone, there are over ten billion pictures and growing, which would be impossible without digital cameras. (Salama) Even photos can be used against a person. For example, photographs captured by paparazzi often scare celebrities for invading their privacy. Those photos are often misunderstood and misused for publication and can potentially harm other people’s reputation. Whether it’s sharing pictures of a wedding or taking photos during a crisis, digital photography has completely changed how people share their stories. (Salama)

Third, the medical industry has profited greatly from the development of digital photos. (Salama) Hospitals need the help of medical photographers who normally use digital cameras and flash (or 35mm equivalent) to photograph patients in the wards and in the operating theatre during surgery, as well as bodies in the post-mortem room. (“Creative Skillset”) They employ a variety of specialist photo imaging techniques and equipment for more complex situations, including micro- and macrography, thermal imaging, time-lapse cinematography, endoscopy (to photograph internal organs), and photography outside the visible spectrum. (“Creative Skillset”) Thanks to the ease of transferring digital images of patient’s data, which can also now be stored with relevant photographs and can be sent to any hospital in the world. (Salama) They don’t need films as instant results for things such as X-rays or reference photographs, and photos can now be stored on a hard drive instead of taking up valuable space in a storage room. (Salama) Many endoscopic procedures available today would not be possible without the technology of digital camera. (Salama)

Fourth, space exploration is thought to be one of humanity’s most significant achievements, and photography has enabled scientists to view things in space that had never been seen before. The digital cameras mounted on the Mars Exploration Rovers have helped to shed light on a planet once shrouded in mystery. (Salama) Without the ability to process images as data and transmit them across space, our view of outer space would still be very limited. (Salama) The satellite also helps us for our everyday living through using our electronic devices such as cellphones, TVs, internet, and radios to communicate with others around the world.

Lastly, let’s not also forget that photography also has raised a number of concerns in our society. Discomfort of people have been caused due to cameras and photography in regards to being insensitive. Photos of war and pornography always cause a stir. It is also feared that disturbing or explicit images are easily accessible to children and society at large today. (“knotphotography”) Another impact of photography can be seen in tourism, where it has a very important role to play. (“knotphotography”) Local inhabitants are often positioned and described by the camera lens for crafting that “tourist gaze”. (“knotphotography”) Nevertheless, we can’t simply turn our faces away from the impact of photography on society and in our lives.

Would it ever be possible to capture the ‘Kodak’ moments of life without the existence of a camera? Obviously not! We aren’t all artists, but we can make individual photos to look extra-ordinary in our own ways. Photography isn’t only about recording moments or clicking images. It is a form of expression, a form of communication, a form of art, and a form of creating good memories. It was pretty amazing how a simple camera could make a huge effect in our lives. From the civil war, social network, medicine, outer space, and society– photography has made a huge chsnge to our world.

Cite this How Photography Changed the World

How Photography Changed the World. (2016, Aug 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/how-photography-changed-the-world/

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