How Photojournalism Affects History Essay

2965 words - 12 pages

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."- Dorothea LangeOn August 19, 1839, the first still life photograph was publicly introduced in Paris. The first camera picture used in the first pictorial newspaper was published in London in May of 1842. On that day, photojournalism was created, and has been used ever since (Marien 1; American 32). Pictures are used in the news because they greatly enhance the information given in an article. They have the power to cause the reader to become shocked, horrified, enraged, surprised, or glad. Pictures have the ability to arouse many strong emotions. The desired affect of photojournalism is to impact public opinion through the impressions of the picture on the reader, and ultimately, to change history. Photography has often served as the best way to provide people with an accurate representation of its subject, and has been an effective way of easily getting information out to the world, often with more impact than writing. Because of this, photography has shown to have a significant influence on public opinion, and therefore, history.It was known that light is necessary to capture an image with a camera. In the late 1700s to early 1800s, many people tried multiple ways of creating a still life image. British Thomas Wedgwood was the first person to attempt this achievement a few years before 1800. Unfortunately, he was only able to discover how to temporarily hold an image on paper, or even sometimes white leather. These pictures were often called "sun prints" because developing these photographs required that the images be exposed to daylight (Newhall 13). Wedgewood's accomplishment, however, paved the way for future scientists and inventors looking to do the same thing.Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and his brother, Claude, were passionate inventors living in central France. The experiments they performed called for illustrations, and since the brothers were not artistically gifted, they thought of creating their illustrations by using light. Joseph discovered a way to sensitize paper with silver chloride to create a negative of his desired images. It was not until 1827 that he came across a way to turn his negatives into a rightly developed positive. Niépce called his image the heliograph (Newhall 13-15).Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, a painter living in London, exclusively worked on scenic paintings, often painting stage sets for many theaters. He had, like Niépce, been investigating how to produce camera images using "the spontaneous action of light." By 1837 he had triumphantly achieved the photograph. Developed on plates of metal (often copper), these pictures were called daguerreotypes. (Newhall 15,18). Since the daguerreotype has been created, countless other photograph inventors have developed new and improved ways to produce the photograph.The growth and development of photography has seemed to be directly influential on the...

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