It is early in the morning, while picking up my coffee and a peep through the window and the joy of watching the Peppal tree with all its majesty. One of the birds on the tree caught my attention, the excitement of watching a new variety of bird made me search for my phone to capture it for sharing it on social media. How often we go through this, thanks to the smartphones (which have become more a camera than a phone) you can do it. This reminded me of Reema talking to me about “World Photography Day” and bringing out a “ToonLogs” on this theme, here we go.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Creative skills are required to generate them, recall Raja Ravi Varma’s oil painting of the “Saree clad Women Holding the Light”, or creative pictures of legendary artist Bapu (Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana). What enabled the common man to capture them is the camera. Photographs can convey a feeling faster than, and sometimes even more effectively than words can.
Photography is where the past meets the presentDestin Sparks
A photograph can make the viewer see the world the way the photographer sees it. Photographs even transcend the passing of time – a hundred-year-old photo can still be as much appreciated now as it was then. The commemorating World Photography Day on 19 August has its origin to the French government announcing the invention of photography as a gift to the world on that day.
The camera was invented by French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce early 1800. The origin of colour photography is a result of the developments at NIST, AT&T Bell Labs and Kodak. Polaroid came out with a user-friendly instant camera and film and other manufacturers such as Lomography, Leica, Fujifilm, followed the same.
Visual sensory perception is based on the functions of the eye – light enters the eye, hits the cells of the retina, and the brain interprets the impulses of those optical cells into coherent, understandable forms. Differences in the perception of images arise from the cognitive aspect of perception – the interpretation of what those images mean. The camera perhaps is one of the greatest revolutionary inventions by humans which enables replicating what human eye can do, replacing the retina with a chemical to record it.
The history of photography is quite interesting, there is a mention of it by Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci clearly described Obscura (darkroom) in his manuscripts. Alhazen (Ibn al-Haytham) an Arab researcher, studied the principles of optics and was credited for laying principles of photography. He built the first camera – obscura enclosure, into which light entered through a pinhole-sized aperture, projected an inverted image of what lies outside onto a wall inside the chamber. Alhazen had provided some of the experimental evidence in his book, Kitab-Al-Manazir (The Book of Wonders) that light does not originate from the human eye but rather is emitted by certain objects (like source) and travels from these objects in straight lines.
What is the secret of the invention? What is the substance endowed with such astonishing sensibility to the rays of light, that it not only penetrates itself with them but preserves their impression; performs at once the function of the eye and the optic nerve – the material instrument of sensation and sensation itself?William Henry Fox Talbot
(in Photogenic Drawing)
Giovanni Battista Della Porta, an Italian philosopher also described the camera obscura in his book Natural Magic (1553). The boost to the development came with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce developing the photographic process in 1816. In 1834, five years before the invention of photography was publicly announced, William Henry Fox Talbot attempted to print images without a camera, which he called photogenic drawings which are produced by light. Talbot’s contributions laid the foundation for the negative-to-positive process. Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre invented the daguerreotype (employing an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapour) process in France and later announced to the public on August 19, 1839, at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. World Photography Day is held on August 19 every year to mark this invention.
In 1888, George Eastman presented the first camera, the “Kodak”, which uses a celluloid film. Photography has been the perfect documentary medium to capture and frame time, the camera has developed from a pinhole box to a high-tech minicomputer found in today’s DSLRs and smartphones.
Digital photography can be traced back to developing the world’s first-megapixel sensor by Kodak in 1986. The first digital photograph was born in 1957; almost 20 years before, Kodak’s engineer invented the first digital camera. In the 20th century, cameras and photography went through a lot of technological innovations. Today, the accessibility of affordable and high-quality digital cameras has made photography a widespread hobby among youngsters. The advent of digital imaging causes us to question and redefine the nature of the photographic visual medium, just as the invention of photography caused artists to re-evaluate the nature of painting. The digital imaging with all its positives also created the possibility of manipulating the nature of photography. The first photograph shared on the web was in 1992 and is credited to Tim Berners-Lee. The honour of being captured in a digital photo went to a female singing group Les Horribles Cernettes (LHC), performing at CERN. What followed is history, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Imgur and Photobucket and many others are being used by many millions of people to share their pictures. Not a second passes without someone sharing what they captured. Photography is enabling humans to share and get connected.
Let us celebrate “World Photography Day” by sharing what we have captured. The web is full of creative photographs, captured with dedication and passions.
The fine component about an image is that it in no way changes, even when the humans in it doAndy Warhol