A Broad View of Photography

Photography is defined as the process of making pictures by means of the action of light. The light reflected from an object forms an image on a material sensitive to light. This image is then chemically processed into a photograph. The word photography has its origin in Greek meaning, “to write or draw with light”.

Nearly all photographs are taken with cameras. A camera works on the same principle as the human eye. Like the eye, a camera takes in rays of light reflected from an object and focuses them into an image, but the camera records the images on a film. This image can be made permanent and can be viewed by any number of people.

Photography enriches our lives. Photographs help us in learning about people in other parts of the world. They also help us to revisit historic events in the past. They can remind us of special people and events from our own lives. Millions of people throughout the world enjoy taking pictures of their family, friends, vacations and important occasions.

Some photographs, like great paintings, have lasting effect and value as works of art. Such works, through the photographer’s imagination and technical skills, are breathtakingly beautiful and symbolize significant ideas.

In addition to recording things and people we can see, photography plays a crucial role in capturing images outside our range of vision. Cameras can travel to places that are inaccessible to humans. Pictures made on film sensitive to heat radiation help physicians detect certain kinds of cancer and other disease.

Photography has had a history of its own. During the mid twentieth century, photographic styles became increasingly varied, especially in the United States. Photographers experimented with different printing techniques to accomplish unusual effects. The artistic possibilities of color photography were not fully explored until the 1970’s. Photography today is firmly established as both an art form and an essential tool in communication and research. Professional photography includes a wide range of styles and themes than ever before. One of the most useful technical advances for both amateur and professional photography has been the instant processing of film.

Photography offers a good range of career opportunities. To be a professional photographer, one needs to have general academic qualification as also a technical knowledge of photography and must have a genuine passion to carve a niche of his or her own.