The Emergence Of Photojournalism Essay

1201 words - 5 pages

As with everything in life, there is always a beginning and photojournalism. Without photojournalist, people not directly related to situations, would have never experienced the frontlines of war, the Great Depression, or the inhumanities of abortion. Photographically evaluating history is a way to analyze what once was and to forge ahead toward what will be. From its turn of the century birth, the professionals that have shaped and continue to form; its “Golden Era,” to its present day modern identity; photojournalism still proceeds.
Photojournalism hit the world’s stage in the early 19th century. According to Dillon Westbrook who writes for Photography_Schools.com, the British were using a form of the box camera to capture the movement of soldiers. The first recognized photojournalist was Romanian born, Carol Szathmari. He photographed the Crimean War from 1853-1856. “Szathmari's newsworthy photographs were exhibited in European galleries for the world to view and were later copied in limited numbers and distributed globally” (Wanke). Yet most information available points to the early 1920’s as being the proper beginning for modern photojournalism. Instructor Ross Collins of North Dakota State University, states that “modern photojournalism took place in 1925, in Germany. The event was the invention of the first 35 mm camera, the Leica. It was designed as a way to use surplus movie film, then shot in the 35 mm format” (Collins). Instructor Collins also includes that prior to the Leica, camera equipment was difficult to transport because of bulk and the necessary lighting equipment. He asserts as well that Germany also receives due credit for the first photojournalism magazine. According to Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, “During the 1920s, the mass media grew at an astonishing pace, particularly in Germany, which had more illustrated periodicals, with greater circulation, than any other country in the world. In Berlin alone, there were forty-five morning and fourteen evening newspapers” (Metropolitan).
Just as the camera plays a major role in photojournalism, individual talent - analyzing situations and patiently waiting for the perfect shot, matters! Mathew Brady is one of those individuals, and is known as the father of photojournalism. He came on the scene shortly before the Civil War, but is best known because of his grit and determination in capturing history pictorially. Photo-Seminars.com covers Mr. Brady’s history extensively and reports that, “Over a hundred thousand dollars was spent in the venture, from which Brady had only a small return; but the publication of the ten volume work, The Photographic History of the Civil War, constitutes a memorial that will give the name of Mathew B. Brady to posterity” (Photo-Seminars). Mr. Brady states, “My greatest aim has been to advance the art of photography and to make it what I think I have, a great and truthful medium of history” (Brady/Morgan). As over seventy-five years have...

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