The Powerful Affect Photography Has on Our Understanding of History

July 31st, 2012

Early European Exploration Here is a World map that defines all the ...The camera and the photos that it creates have definitely changed the way that we interact with the world, and the way the world interacts with itself. In the millenniums before the camera was invented, the only way that an individual could explain events that were going on around him was by either using a medium like a pencil, or ink, or paint to try to capture what he saw with his own eyes. A person could also use words to try to take the images that were being processed by his mind and then record them in a way that other individuals could understand.

While history is replete with individuals who were able to use these mediums in order to document important events in world history, recording things in this way has a very clear and obvious flaw. The number one defect being that the way that either the artist or the writer recorded history often would be subject to their perception of the events that they were viewing.

The camera and photography really helps to remove this subjectivity, because a camera and its lens is not going to capture events based on the way that the individual operating the camera perceives them. No but to the contrary it is going to capture events exactly the way of that they are.

Now thanks to the camera when look back on events that happened within the past 150 or so years we are able to review photographs that give us detailed images of the past. These detailed images give us the ability to accurately see what the world was like during the time that certain historic events took place. These photographs give us an accurate portrayal of how certain political figures, religious leaders, and other memorable people from history looked. Photographs of things like the aftermath of the Civil War give us a realistic feel of what the events that took place during those times really were like.

One can only imagine the impact of the millions upon millions of photographs that are being taken every single day by individuals all around the world will have on historians of the future as they tried to better understand the world that we live in. We can be sure that they will definitely have a better image of what our life was like thanks to the invention of the camera.


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