Photography as Medium of Fact or Fiction - Essay Example

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As the old adage proclaimed: "a picture paints a thousand words", that is how powerful a single photograph can get when it gets laid on television, magazines or newspapers. This is because a single photo could elicit different reactions and interpretations…
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Photography as Medium of Fact or Fiction
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"Photography as Medium of Fact or Fiction"

Download file to see previous pages Although photography has been seen with a veritable attachment to reality, the relationship of photography to art, notably painting and graphic media, has a long history. Changing concepts of art and practices of photography have drawn the urgency from earlier debates about their relative status, but the cultural issues concerning ways of viewing and constructing images remain of interest. The nature of the projected photographic image was known from early times, but the principles of the camera obscura, a term equally applicable to a darkened room or a small box, rendering the three-dimensional world in two, were explored in parallel with those of perspective during the 16th century. The developments of the next century in lens technology for telescopes and microscopes extended the experience of vision and produced improved and various versions of the camera. The demand for reproducible imagery of all kinds increased among the emerging professional and middle classes throughout the 18th century. The copper plate used for etching and engraving was not adequate for the long runs of impressions demanded and other means of picture production were sought. Modern photography shares its history with contemporary developments in graphic art, such as lithography, and the term 'plate' remains in use (Lewis, 2001).
However, it may seem a further irony that, because of the c...
For example, in 1933 this view had been expressed in a series of radio broadcasts by photographer August Sander, 'Even the most isolated Bushman could understand a photograph of the heavens-whether it showed the sun and moon or the constellations' (Sander 1978, p. 674). However, in the face of the rapid increase in global communications which has characterised the latter part of the twentieth century, we do need at least to ask to what extent the photographic image can penetrate through cultural differences in understanding. Or is photography as bound by cultural conventions as any other form of communication, such as language Yet despite such uncertainties we find that, 'Photography is nearly omnipresent, informing virtually every arena of human existence' (Ritchen 1990, p. 1).
It is for this reason that we question: is it possible that our familiarity with the photographic image has bred our current contempt for the intricacies and subtle methods that characterise the medium's ability to transmit its vivid impressions of 'reality' Photography is regarded quite naturally as offering such convincing forms of pictorial evidence that this process of communication often seems to render the medium totally transparent, blurring the distinction between our perception of the environment and its photographic representations. However, we could not deny the fact that photography can also depict art. When photography is linked to art, does it mean it could also convey fictional aspect, which is quite far from reality. Thus, this article will seek to unravel the thin line of art and reality with regards to photography.
Photography and Reality
It is undeniable that the influence of photography through the years has been immense in influencing public opinion, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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