“I don’t think you can claim you’ve seen anything, unless you took a photo of it.”
These are the words of a prominent American writer Emile Zola, who dedicated about 15 years to photography. Nowadays, whenever we see something really beautiful, we automatically take out our phone, not to regret later on, that we didn’t catch it on the right moment. Camera became one of the most important objects of present time: it brightens the world, it sets trends for beauty, making Instagram one of the most successful social networks. If we’re proud with our house, our family, our kids or our job – we need to take tons of pictures and show it to our friends or even complete strangers, otherwise it all makes no sense, right?
Photography creates beauty and helps us makes ourselves even more beautiful. We need our own perfect image, a better half of us. Not many people like to look in the picture exactly the way the look in rel life. Not many can confidently say the actually look better in the picture. Dozens of Instagram filters are something usual for us, but 150 years ago first image post-production was a real blast. In 1855 at the World Fare a first filtered portrait was shown. Visitors could actually see, how it looked before and after filtering. Straight away many people understood the new powerful feature and wanted to use it.
Why people were so glad over photography invention?
The reason is simple: photography helped people to finally mater the powerful flow of information that we wanted to memorize, but couldn’t. The first idea to save his emotional impression from the seen belonged to Fox Talbot, a photography pioneed, that lived in England in the 19th century. He was observing a beautiful landscape during his travel in Italy. He was making some sketches, using technologies, that allowed projecting an image, but not saving or fixing it. Talbot started to think how to save an image. He was looking for a brand new way of recording an image, using only light, not a pencil. That is how photography was born. Soon it turned out that objectivity isn’t that perfect, since same objects looked different in different photographers shots. It became clear that photography does not only show an object, but also tells something about the person who created it.
Throughout its history photography has always been a struggle between two goals: showing an object or a person and making it look even more beautiful. American literature classic Nataniel Gothorn once said: “We think, that photographer shows appearance. But he actually depicts hidden character with a level of truthfulness, that an artist would never be able to allow to himself even if he saw it.”
Desire to photograph everything around comes from our will to improve reality by means of a camera. If we could not take pictures of meaningful events, they’d be instantly washed away with the flow of time. Since camera allowed us to catch the moment – we started to feel the temporarity of events more clearly.
The need to take pictures and consume other peoples photocontent (Hello, Instagram, again) is explained by the growing need for consumation. We need to make pictures, and then see other pictures, again, more, over and over. This desire is insatiable, pretty much like the need to explore new cuisines, tastes, impressions. The possibilities of photography are endless today, but only a true master knows those small things, that really make the picture “work”.