A photograph is a picture that is taken using devices that can capture light, known as cameras. History’s first photograph was taken in 1822 when men discovered that it is possible to freeze moments through the effective use of technology. Henceforth, numerous devices were invented, each getting better by the decade, to capture time. The purpose of photographs has taken a shift as generations changed, both in a good and bad manner.
The primary purpose of a photograph is clear from the first discovery in the early 1800s; to capture moments. Humans are so keen to capturing pictures and taking photographs for the same reason. Moments want to be remembered, to be preserved over time, to be kept alive for long. As humans are not very fortunate with the memory department, it is easy to forget precious happenings as age takes us over. Some accept it as a passing norm of life while some find it harder to let memories slip the mind.
Today’s generation is doing just that; capturing every moment of life that is too precious to be passed. Memories of birthdays of family members, the first picture of a baby, a new puppy, plus funerals are important to be remembered. These moments never happen for the second time as they never should. It is a sentimental way of a normal human being to hold on to things that are dear to them, thanks to technology. A photograph serves as evidence of certain events that took place.
Such photographs are best to be included in the context of important needs like medicine, crime, education, and many others. When a crime takes place in a neighborhood, a photograph of the scene is important for the investigators to scan for proof materials. As a medical procedure is about to be conducted, the doctors need to have an image of the initial state regardless of the images’ form. The photographs taken may be very useful in the future for references and as proof.
To another extent, a photograph is used to tell a story where words are absent. It began as a branch in journalism called photojournalism where news is reported with images supported with minimal words. Each picture can tell a story besides conveying emotions better than words ever could. It is easy to feel the emotions portrayed by the images seen as compared to reading the description. Images have meanings as they touch the soul of every eye that views it with emotions. For instance, narrating a story through descriptions about communities losing homes due to war is less appealing.
This effects less as compared to showing the image of homeless children crying on the streets. Human sympathy is easier to have more compassion for what can be seen rather than what is heard or read. As generations evolve, the intentions behind an image have changed completely. Just about a generation ago, photographs were meant to preserve memories and keep time alive. Currently, photos exist as a show of social standards for almost every age. Along with technology, the social world which was once restricted to in-person connection has become digital.
Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are not valued without photographs. Users wishing to see more images rather than text and quotes. Every evolving personality has a story to tell and that seems to be validated only through a picture. In the social world, the purpose of a photograph is to increase followers and get more likes. Good photography with the right techniques both from the person and the image guarantees a good audience response. It is easy to be well-known or famous by sending a good picture through the net.
A photograph is also objective and precise in showing what there is. Its purpose to convey the truth is easy and straightforward with minimal risk for alteration. Photos can be viewed with countless perceptions by various eyes, but the view is the same for every sight. Words can be altered and truth can be hidden, but what is seen in a portrait is merely reality. A photo captures exactly what is happening at the moment it is captured. It is impossible to take sides as the pictures will show exactly what has happened. Photos are also spontaneous and capture moments right at the time it happens, preventing frauds.
A photograph has many purposes, all depending on the form it is used and by whom. It can be used for both negative and positive means by the individual that takes it.