Photographs let us capture important events in history and our personal moments in time. Invented in the early 1800’s, photography has come on in leaps and bounds. No one could have imagined the scope we have today. With the advent of iPhones, editing Apps, Facebook and Instagram, photography is now a huge part of our daily lives.
Photography has had many firsts. These include the first picture of the sun, the first hoax photograph and the first picture of the moon. These days, many of us take hundreds of photos a day. With editing Apps readily available and so many options to live our life behind the camera lens, it has become part and parcel of modern times. But why do we take photographs? And are they becoming detrimental or ever more beneficial?
Why do we take photos?
Photos capture a moment in time we won’t ever see again. Professionals may wait a lifetime to catch a historic moment in time, or perhaps an unusual occurrence in nature. They teeter on the edge of society to capture raw emotion in life and death. It could be a lion eating prey. It may be the Aurora Borealis. It’s often a storybook of terminal illness or a moment of glory in the face of adversity. They take photographs of war, history, birth, and death. But as a lay person, what makes us take so many photos? We too, want to snap a moment. We want to eulogise significant parts of our life. We take photographs at family gatherings, when we travel the world and when we get good birthday cake! We use these photographs to tell a story, more often than not, on Facebook or Instagram. Today, photos are instant. They develop before our eyes, and we can post them on social media and let everyone know where we are and what we are doing.
When Photos Go Wrong
With the introduction of Photoshop, came a lot of backlash about the ethics behind altering images. Professional tweaks of colour and light are granted to be acceptable. But when bodies and faces (predominantly celebrities), are altered beyond recognition, something is going wrong. These days, images are edited to smooth skin, whiten teeth and slim bodies to unrealistic proportions. This is when Photoshop is being used incorrectly. We use photos to capture a moment. Not to distort reality and produce an image that is no longer true. Digital manipulation can cause unrealistic ideals for both men and women. It’s a debate as long as a piece of a string and not one to have in this post. But it is worth being aware of when editing photographs. I guess the question is; are you taking a photo to capture your life, or are you taking an image to produce the expectations you think are necessary. I say, go with the former and be real!
How To Take A Beautiful Photograph
If you are interested in taking beautiful photographs, step away from the iPhone and invest in a digital SLR. Digital SLR cameras are what the majority of professionals use to take photos. If you are serious about wanting to take some awe-inspiring shots, consider enrolling in Photography School. They will cover everything from portrait to fashion photography and studio to night-time shooting. There are both beginners and advanced classes and a course will up the ante on your photography skills. A photography course is fantastic if you are running your own business. They are also great if you are looking for a new hobby or even if you want to capture your life and family in a more skilled way.