A form of art like no other, a photograph conveys messages and emotions without need for words. Today, the function of photograph is limitless. It seeks attention, provokes emotions and amazes the viewer with breathtaking images. Having such profound impact in our lives, it is justified that we should know how this form of art took its place in human history as an indispensable media. To understand the history of photography, we will start by looking back at the 19th century.Photography took on a humble beginning when the term was coined by Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839. A combination of the Greek words ‘photos’ and ‘graphein’, it relates to the use of light or radiation to record images. In the very same year, the first photo of a person was produced by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, a chemist and French painter. However, the first experiences of photography can be traced back to 1827 when French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made the first photographic image on a metal plate.Since then, there have been a series of firsts in the history of photography. Man have successfully captured the first lightning and war photo in 1847 and produced the first color photo in 1861. The earliest history of cinematography (the act of filmmaking) was said to have begun in the year 1878 when the image sequences were successfully produced. Varying from nature to human and objects, photography was used to capture almost anything.1991 marks a historic milestone in the history of photography when the first digital still camera was made available commercially by Kodak. Since then, there has been overwhelming response and the demand for such cameras soared. We are the witnesses to the increasing capability of this image-capturing device. The history of photography will never been the same again with the development of portable and increasingly advanced cameras.
Most of us realize by the time we are 30 or 40 years old that most of what we’ve read in the history textbooks and learned in school has not been an accurate accounting of the human record. Indeed, we tend to change our history books every 10 or 20 years and we do this to help promote a future agenda.Whereas, we want the next generation to take our society and civilization to greater heights, some feel we should tweak things a little. In other words we manipulate our past, to propel our future. Unfortunately, those that purposely do this, as well intentioned as they might be often try to change the way things are, to the way they believe things should be.Yet, by doing this, we end up lying to ourselves, and our children. And that famous quote; “those who fail to learn their history, are doomed to repeat it.” But which history are we learning, because what we are teaching, well, it isn’t the truth?If we were really honest with ourselves, and our children, perhaps we might admit that it is impossible to know history unless you were there living it and unless you were in the mind of the person who was living it, at the time, and seeing things from their point of view. In fact, there are often different accounts of history based on which side one group or another was on. And we know that it is the victors of wars and conflicts that rewrite history in their favor.So, it stands to reason, that this sort of writing of history will continue into the future. Lately, what we’ve seen is that some will use the media to change the history as it is happening and purport a specific alternate view, then use those media reports to write books during that period publishing millions of copies. This is another way that we lie to ourselves.The reality is that the history textbooks we use in school are merely historical fiction and it’s probably about time that we admitted that. Please consider all this.