A human mind always stored the visual imagery it saw around but one fine day, a man decided to capture and reproduce same visuals for the world to see. Hence, started the journey of photography. Joseph Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre in 1837 were the first to crack the process of Daguerreotype photographic processes. The French Government recognized the invention and announced it as the first practical gift to humanity on August 19th, 1839. The contemporary artists pay homage to the souls who changed the dimension of visual understanding by celebrating the day as the “WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY.”
The history of the camera as a capturing medium is fascinating. The evolvement journey from the 35mm films to DSLRs has captured for the world some breathtaking moments which will never repeat itself. During the process, the likes of Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Eve Arnold redefined the definition of a camera. By mid 20th century, a camera was no longer a machine but a canvas of a visual art form for any creative individual to paint on it. With the efforts of some outstanding visionaries and advancement in technology, photography was no longer remained an experiment but a professional art form.
Photography like any art form is very relative. Technically, anyone can press a button on a capturing device to store what his eyes are seeing. But good photography is all about how aesthetically an individual’s eye can visualize the scene and replicate it onto the device. Static storytelling with the perfect blend of composition, lighting & equipment is the basics of good photography.
The commercial aspect of photography has been a critically discussed topic globally. Andreas Gursky’s Rhein II was sold at a price of over $4 million. But does that really mean ‘most’ photographers make the similar amount of money? The answer is plain blank, No. Photography is among one of the most uncertain professions. Only artists having a sheer passion for capturing moments jump into this form of story-telling. Interestingly, most established photographers took up photography as a hobby but could never give it up.
Presently, the social image of photographers in India is not the best. The shift from the analog to the digital form of photography has created a wide spectrum of artists. While the top and the most celebrated ones enjoy the respect and position they deserve but the middle spectrum or the talented new artists are the ones suffering. The unaware society started treating the lower and middle strata of the spectrum similarly, hence, every photographer in this zone is being treated as someone who just presses a button on his camera.
The excessive accessibility of technology has led the market to saturation. In a saturated market, sustenance and creating identity seem to a challenge for newcomers. Probably, breaking stereotypical conventions of viewing the world with a tangentially different visual aesthetics is the way go forward.
A photographer’s insecurity of identity gives him the opportunity to see things in a different light and that is what makes him a visual artist. So as for today, 19th August, the photographers can take pride and celebrate their art form keeping aside the pros and cons of being a photographer.