A glance in the past, a still moment that turns you back in time, a shared memory, a piece of life you want to live over and over again and many other definitions I find in my head when I think about photography. Photographs play an important role in one’s life; That piece of paper can connect us to our past, can remind us of people, places, feelings and stories. Photography can help us to know who we are or in other words, they are our identity.
Throughout time photography helped in so many ways that merely 200 years ago, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, did not even imagine how much!
It always spread information
Way easier to express news, a message or simple called, a piece of information, photography is and always be present in news, fashion, commercial and many more.
Eddie Adams (photographer) said:
“Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world” and he is not far from the truth even nowadays.
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima – Joe Rosenthal in 1945
Shared a moment
Do you remember those feeling you have when you`re holding a photo of you or someone close that makes you turn to the past? I hope everyone has those stocked up into their homes as I said upper, it is part of our identity.
Lunch atop a Skyscraper – Charles Clyde Ebbets in 1932
Told a story
Same as a poet writes, a painter paints, same with photography. Sure, there are those nice pictures beautiful to look at; sunrises above the ocean or strong mountains growing between green soldiers, but what do they speak about?
Story telling is probably the hardest type or way to express in static something that can happen from seconds to days or years. Even so, photography has done it in the past and successfully continues!
The Iconic V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1945
Expressed creation, freedom, feelings…
I like to say that nothing in this world can be done by humans if there was no soul into it and photography is definitely one that comes first to mind.
Philippe Halsman’s life’s work was to capture the essence of those he photographed. Knowing a standard portrait of the flamboyant Salvador Dali was not going to wash, he set out to create something extraordinary.
Philippe Halsman shot this famous photo Dalí Atomicus in 1948
9 years after Halsman, Electrical-engineering professor Edgerton began a series of experiments in his MIT lab, inventing a camera that would photograph a fleeting moment in the dark. Combining high-tech strobe lighting and a camera shutter that would enable the photographer to capture a moment invisible to the naked eye, he set up a milk dropper next to a timer along with his camera.His stop-motion photograph was able to freeze the impact of a drop of milk on a table and cemented photography’s importance in the world of advancing the human understanding of our physical world.
Harold Edgerton – Milk Drop Coronet in 1957
A decade after, photography took another turn. It can easily be called freedom but I like to call it discovery: astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve of 1968. A weightless Anders shot to where Lovell was floating and fired his Hasselblad. “You got it?” Lovell asked. “Yep,” Anders answered. The image – our first full-color view of our planet from off of it. This helped to launch the environmental movement and, just as important, it helped human beings recognize that in a cold and punishing cosmos, we’ve got it pretty good.
William Anders, NASA (100 The Most Influential Images of All Time) – Earthrise in 1968
There are lots to add to the subject that I can not cover in this article. Those were the first that came to mind. I am sure you can add more or share with me what do you think about the importance of photography? What changed photography in your life or what do you think the future of this art might be?
I do hope generations after will continue the work Bresson, Robert Frank, Cunningham, Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz and others.
With lots of love,