What is the modern meaning of photography?

Photography refers to the process or practice of creating a photograph, an image produced by the action of light on a light-sensitive material.


is the art of capturing light with a camera, usually through a digital sensor or film, to create an image. With the right camera equipment, you can even photograph wavelengths of light invisible to the human eye, including UV rays, infrared rays and radio. The word photograph was created from the Greek roots φΩ( phōtós), the genitive of φ (phōs), light, and αφ (graphé) representation by lines or drawings, which together mean drawing with light.

Modern photography began in the 20th century and lasted until the 1960s, but the influence of its advocates continues to this day. Straight Photography, a branch of modern photography focused on capturing true records of life as seen by the photographer. The camera has a long and distinguished history as a means of recording scientific phenomena since its first use by Daguerre and Fox-Talbot, such as astronomical events (eclipses, for example), small creatures and plants when the camera was connected to the eyepiece of microscopes (in photomicroscopy) and for macro photography of larger specimens. The word photograph literally means “drawing with light”, which derives from the Greek photograph, which means light, and graphic, which means to draw.

Like other monarchs, such as Queen Victoria, Louis Napoleon quickly realized that photography provided the means to present himself and his family to his subjects as real human beings. Thus, he began experimenting with other substances sensitive to light and, in 1822, Nièpce invented a process that he called “heliography” (again, in Greek words, this time it means “drawing of the sun”, based on helios and graphê). Around 1800, the British inventor Thomas Wedgwood made the first known attempt to capture the image in a camera obscura using a substance sensitive to light. Meanwhile, a British inventor, William Fox Talbot, had already been able to create raw but reasonably light-resistant silver images on paper by 1834, but had kept his work secret.

The Crimean War of 1853-1856, which the Russian Empire lost against an alliance between France, Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia, was the first to be photographically documented. This new postmodern era was characterized by interdisciplinarity, in which artists employed a variety of media, including photography, to achieve their artistic goals. Embracing everything new and modern, many avant-garde artists of the early 20th century were influenced by technological advances in photography or adopted them and applied them to their work. Influenced by these avant-garde movements and also by advances in documentary photography, emerging modernist photographers abandoned the pictorial and manipulated style of pictorialism, focusing instead on the inherent properties of photography, such as cropping and sharp focus.

These innovations of photography as a medium for documenting social, political and cultural events in the form of documentary photography. Talbot published his results, which in 1841 became known as the calotype “talbotype” (from the Greek kalos, meaning “beautiful” and “tupos” meaning “impression”) in 1841, and this became the prototype of the negative-positive printing process that would continue to be the basis of analog photography. reproduction throughout the 19th and 20th centuries until the invention of digital photography. Because of this change in the way cameras were used, modern photography also explored new areas not covered by traditional photography, such as social documentation.


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John Pfannenstiel
John Pfannenstiel

Born in South Africa, John fell in love on his 14th birthday when his parents presented him with his first camera. After photographing insects, lizards, and snakes in his own backyard, John felt he had found his calling in life, and a career in photography beckoned. John set up his first photography business when he was 23 and has since traveled the world and worked with many famous photographers.