To understand a photograph, you have to go back in time… decades ago to be precise. Research from Photography Talks dated photographs back to the Camera Obscura 500 BCE to 1600 CE developed by an Iraqi scientist. Immediately after that came Early Optics 1400s to 1700s then developing of a film began from 1604 ending in 1827. In the same year, the first Photograph of a View from a Window at Le Gras was believed to have been developed by Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce. Research shows that the photo may have taken up to 8 hours to create. After the first picture, photography became an art that is still evolving.
The Daguerreotype, which was a collaboration between Niépce and Louis Daguerre, came in 1839, then the camera in 1841. Then there was the onset of photojournalism in 1848-1865 an era which saw the release of World War II photos publicly. Celluloid roll film then came out in 1885-1887 and later Kodak, which was started by George Eastman, came out in 1888 making photography accessible to all, as research states that it had previously been a preserve of rich professionals. Moving pictures came in 1878 to 1900 and 35 mm film in 1913.
According to Liz Masoner of Sprucecrafts, that in the 1970s and early 1980s, compact cameras that were capable of making image control decisions on their own were introduced, making way for the digital era, which started in 1975 to date. Liz added that “by 1991 Kodak had produced the first digital camera that was advanced enough to be used successfully by professionals. Other manufacturers quickly followed and today Canon, Nikon, Pentax just to name a few offers advanced digital SLR DSLR cameras”. This is a clear indication that photographs continue to be an important art form even as they evolve.
A photograph, by definition, is “a picture obtained by any process of photography”. The term was coined in 1839 by an English polymath and photography pioneer Sir John Herschel from the photo “light” + -graph “something written”. The online encyclopedia defines a photograph to be an image made by light on a material sensitive to light, then reproduced permanently on paper by subsequent exposure to light. A simple definition from Your Dictionary defines a photograph to be an image one takes with a camera.
Encyclopedia.com shows three steps in making a photograph: exposing the film to light commonly referred to as taking a picture, developing the image and making a print of the image. Although the steps remain the same to date, photography as art continues to evolve. To take a good photograph, Spencer Cox notes that their needs be light, subject and composition.
There are a variety of uses of photographs today; Google arts and culture highlights that photographs are used when telling stories in many forms. In science, they document plants/animals, in textbooks to teach students about different places, family portraits in homes, even art exhibitions for purchase or entertainment. Today, digital phones allow taking of still photos which can be uploaded instantly onto social pages for networking.