Sunday, September 14, 2008

The History of Photography (Gabby Salazar)

After over 10 years of calling myself a "photographer," I'm finally taking a history of photography class at school. This class does not focus on nature photography, in fact it barely brushes over the genre, but it does cover the beginnings of photography and some of the milestones throughout history.

If you've never studied the history of photography, it is fascinating. There is a lot of debate about who actually invented photography - there were a number of men working on the photographic process around the same time in different countries. It didn't start with film as we know it - photographers started out with light, paper and chemicals. Many young photographers have never really shot with film or transparencies making them even farther removed from the roots of photography. Check out this photographer whose work I just saw at the Harvard Museum of Natural History: She uses a process more akin to early photographic processes.

Anyway, if you're interested, study photography. The story of photography inspires me and it also gives me an appreciation for how far we've come. Just a few years ago when I was still using 35mm transparencies, a friend gave me a roll of Kodachrome with an ISO of 25. If you don't know what that is - look it up - if you're a photographer, it's a part of your history.

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