Impact to Society Caused the Technology of Photography During the Period 1910-2010 Term Paper

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Photography 1910-2010

We know what a photograph is…We have almost certainly taken a photograph, just as we have equally probably been part of one. A photograph is

(simply) an equation of light, time, and space. -- Peter Turner

Photography was first presented to the world on August 19, 1839, at a meeting of the Academy of Science and the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. While Louise-Jacques Mande Daguerre (1787-1851) was the originator of photography, on the day of the presentation, claiming a sore throat, he left the presentation up to Francois Arago (1786-1853) who later initiated the consensus that Daguerre was, in fact, the originator of photography (Marien 2010). Daguerre was given a lifelong pension from the French government, but only upon the agreement to reveal his method, which he discussed in his booklet, Historique et description du procede du Daguerreotype et du Diorama (History and Description of the Process of the Daguerreotype and the Diroama (1839) (Marien 2010). The text was, of course, translated into many different languages all around the globe. (2010).

While we know certain facts about the history of photography and the society in which it was created, the whole story is a bit complex and it involves half successes and missed opportunities, good luck as well as false starts (Marien 2010).

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It centers on basic questions about how the elements of history, especially the history of technology, are reckoned and ordered. The oft-repeated story of the presentation of photography in 1839 says little about the precursor of the medium, the specific course of invention, the social environment in which the medium was conceived, and about others who contributed to Daguerre's work or who formulated different photographic processes (Marien 2010).

The most fundamental elements of photography consist of a light-tight box, lenses, and light-sensitive substances. These are so basic and had been known for hundreds of years before they were brought together. "If the invention of photography had depended solely on the availability of materials, it might have been a late Renaissance invention" (Marien 2010).

Term Paper on Impact to Society Caused the Technology of Photography During the Period 1910-2010 Assignment

From 1839 until 1910, a lot of progress was made in photography. Daguerre went on to perfect his technique while at the same time an English inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot, was working on a different process that included the creation of paper negatives that could be utilized to make positive paper prints. This whole process was called the Calotype (which was called the "imperfect work of man…and not the perfect word of God" (Davenport 1999)) and was the basis for modern film technology; however, Daguerre's type was already sweeping across America.

By 1910, photography had made a huge impact on societies worldwide. In 1909, an international show held in Dresden, Germany, was criticized for doing nothing new or innovative (Marien 2010). In 1910, a photo exhibition in Buffalo, New York at the Albright Art Gallery, exhibited approximately 600 pictorial photographs as a retrospective of Pictorialism. Contributors were asked to show both old and new work. "The show is often cited as marking the historical moment when photography was accepted as an art form worthy of museums" (2010).

After World War I, the idealism that came along with Pictorialism was gone. The style continued to be created, mainly in advertising and amateur work, however, Russian Constructivism, which focused on design as a way that artists could engage in changing society positively, as well as European Dadaism, which questioned the belief in beauty and purity after the horrors that the war brought (Marien 2010).

Experimental photography became all the rage in the 1920s. In one of the last issues of the magazine Camera Work, Stieglitz showed the work of Paul Strand, an artist who came to photography not through art but through social concern (Marien 2010). "…Strand learned photography in an intellectual atmosphere of moral concern for humankind" (2010). This style allowed for more objectivity and "straight photographic means" (2010).

Art photography was influenced by both science and technology as well as travel and exploration of the world, but in the 1920s and 1930s, photography was still set in the mid-19th century (Marien 2010) until the breakthrough of color… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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