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The Importance Of The Camera In Photojournalism

1221 words - 5 pages

Photojournalism began with the invention of the camera. The first camera was invented by Alexander Wolcott. His camera was patented on May 8th, 1840. Without the invention of the camera photojournalism would have never had a chance to influence the minds of its viewers the way that it does today. Visuals put everything into perspective for people, written language and words on a paper mean something but when a reader can actually see what it going on, it brings those words to reality. Photojournalism is the inevitable combination of photography and Journalism; this name for the combination is credited to Frank Luther Mott, the Dean of the Journalism department at the University of Missouri. Photojournalists began capturing images of currents events in the 1850’s. In 1853 Carol Szathmari photographed the Crimean War, this set the standards for capturing unstaged events and communicate to society the raw reality of what was happening in the world. Photojournalism advanced along with the invention of portable and digital cameras. Following the invention of the 35 mm Leica camera in the 1930’s, photojournalism took flight. The invention of the Leica camera began the Golden Age of photojournalism whose life lasted from 1930-1950’s. With the use of the “old-age” cameras, only one photo could be taken at a time and it took a while to do so in between pictures. However, with the invention of this new camera, it allowed for more than one photo to be captured quickly. Between the 1930’s and 50’s many events and wars such as the Great Depression occurred, this created ample opportunities for photojournalists to hit the ground running and bring reality to the eyes of the public.

Photojournalists have absolutely no cut cards. Any events and occurrences that could potentially influence the public eye is fair game to these image hungry photojournalists. The ethicality of the image choices that some photojournalists have made, has been questioned by the public for years. On December 4th, 2012, The New York Post published an article headlined “Doomed, pushed on the subway tracks, this man is about to die,” the article also featured a picture of the man on the tracks in the path of an oncoming subway. This raised many questions in the eye of the public. The major question raised was “why didn’t the person taking the picture try to help the man on the tracks?” Also biased photography is under question as well. A picture can be taken and interpreted in many different ways. The point of photographs is to be paired alongside of the truth about certain occurrences. It is when the interpretations are altered into being something that it is not; this is very popular in photos of celebrities, and political leaders. Situations like this lay the basis for the ethical controversy of photojournalism.
Photojournalism brings light to world occurrences that not everyone can see. This allows for concerned citizens to see just exactly what is going on in the world. During...

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