The Impact of the Camera and Photography in the U.S.
In the early 16th century, just the thought of having a device with the ability to capture and store a moment in time forever seemed impossible to pretty much everyone. Nowadays, that device is used on a day to day basis by practically everyone. The camera has affected countless lives in the U.S. since the first one, called the Camera Obscura, was invented in 1685 by Johann Zahn (“History of the Camera”).
From taking family pictures to viewing the surface of Mars, the camera has made a huge impact on the way we perceive things.
The first instance of people being aware of photography was in 5th century China. A Chinaman named Mo Ti observed that when light rays of an illuminated matter are reflected through a dark area, it produces an inverted but identical copy (“Who Invented the Very First Camera?”).
This observation led to every other version of the camera, even the high-tech digital cameras we use today have the same general feature. The Camera Obscura mentioned earlier was square one for photography, normally it was only used for painters to help them see a superimposed image on a piece of paper, helping them to draw or paint it in more detail (“History of the Camera”).
And the final step towards modern photography was achieved by Joseph Niepce in 1827, he succeeded in making the very first photographic image by letting light draw the picture. Niecpe placed an engraving onto a metal plate coated in bitumen and exposed it to light, only the whiter areas on the plate allowed light to react with the chemicals. After being placed in a solvent, over the course of about 8 hours, an image would appear, but would soon fade away (“History of Photography”).
... was saved to magnetic tape.| 1957| The first image in the history of digital photography was produced on a computer by Russell Kirsch. ... flash bulb introduced by General Electric Co. The camera before used the flash light power, by using a bulb in provided a ...
In 1888, the first camera that was meant for photography only was released to the public. This camera was named the “Kodak” by George Eastman who invented it and the film paper that is used to capture the photos. He named it the Kodak because it is a unique name that is easy to remember (and his favorite letter was ‘K’) (“Kodak and the Rise of Photography”).
Within a few years, the snapshot photography of the Kodak became a national craze, different forms of Kodak were even used in American speech such as “kodaking”, “kodakers” and even “kodakery”. By 1898, only ten years after the release of the Kodak, it was estimated that over 1.5 million film-roll cameras had been sold to amateur shutterbugs across the U.S. During the first decade of the 20th century, serious photographers started forming organizations dedicated to promoting photography as a fine art rather than a popular pastime. The most prominent of these organizations in the U.S. was the Photo-Secession, founded in 1902 by the photographer, publisher and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz and his compatriots succeeded in winning a place for photography in the hallowed halls of high art (“Kodak and the Rise of Photography”).
Humans have been creating images at least since the cave paintings some 20,000 years ago. With the invention of photography, a realistic image that would have taken a skilled artist hours or even days to complete could be recorded in exact full detail within a fraction of a second. Today, photography has become a powerful means of communication and a mode of visual expression that touches human life in many ways (“Photography”).
Nowadays, people at diners and restaurants might greet the arrival of their food with a few excited clicks of their phone to capture that sushi or pizza for posterity. Go back a couple of decades and the idea of showing a friend a picture of a dinner you’d been served earlier would raise eyebrows. One of the most pronounced changes is at concerts and sporting events. At a stadium gig, people will be confronted by a forest of arms holding cameras aloft. At a football game, thousands of little flashes speckle the crowd at kick-off and after touchdowns. And the ubiquitous digital camera, which is the most advanced camera to date, can turn events that in themselves would be a small story into a worldwide phenomenon. And without the camera phone, internet sensations like “Bungee jumper who survived her fall into the Zambezi” or “Fenton the deer chasing dog” would have been less likely to have been captured (“5 Ways the Camera has changed us”).
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Cameras have also shown the ability to bring family and friends closer together, like taking a family photo to remember how great of a family you have or just taking pictures with friends to show the world how much fun you can have. Another big contribution that cameras have made has been with the technology of the video camera. The video camera has given us the ability to create movies, and T.V. shows, these are 2 huge aspects of almost every human’s life today. It has also affected the world of sports just as much. In any kind of race, a video camera can make the difference between a gold medal and a silver medal.
Every person in the U.S. interacts with some form of photography every single day, regardless of whether they have one or not. People with jobs dealing with photography obviously work with cameras, everyone who walks through Times Square each day see all the big signs on buildings that were created by cameras and even people with office jobs interact with photography, they may not take pictures, but they look at pictures of family members and friends that are in their cubicle. Overall, without photography, the U.S. and even the world would be completely different than it is today. Which shows that a camera, a little, pocket sized piece of plastic with some buttons on it can change the whole world in many ways for individuals, a community and even an entire country.
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