So, why do we take pictures ? More so now than in any other time in history....?
It's a very wide question, one which been asked many, many times . I could go straight to the present and talk about mobile phones, app's and the like. But, I think we need to look back a long long way and to the beginnings of man's existence on the planet that we call home. Earth. It could be argued that the very first time that early man became aware of his self existence and looked down at his shadow or his footprints in the sand or mud, he was already creating an image... We know that the earliest cave paintings and decorations date back to around 40.000 years ago in the prehistoric ages . We cannot be sure if the early ones were merely decorations or efforts to make pictures ? Were they trying to communicate with others or attempting to tell a story..? It is clear that later on in man's development, but still early days, he would crawl to deep caverns in the hillsides , through narrow crevices to the areas were these paintings have been found. He would have had to illuminate the dark Caverns using fire and torches .. Scientists believe that man discovered fire around 2 Million years ago..! Im no expert on early man. But, it is clear that from the earliest day's in man's development , we had a need to express ourselves outwardly for the present and, for our ancestors to come.
So onwards through time, man has scratched, scrawled and drawn with tools that became more and more elaborate as time went on. Whether the early cave paintings or those of the modern era - the Middle ages through to the Renaissance painters or even street artists like Banksy... It is, a matter of perception and all have a part to play. So where does photography fit in ? I would suggest that it is absolutely the same and an extension of that desire to record and express ourselves as early man did all those years ago. The earliest known photograph was taken around 1826 and developed by a French photographer and pioneer Joseph Nicéphore Niépre. It was a process called Heliography, or sun drawing. The actual exposure time was unbelievably about 8 hours. 30 years later it had become a product for relative wider use and on and on it went. Today we take for granted having a high quality camera in most of our pockets. The mobile phone. It is truly a wonder of technology . We shoot selfies and landscapes, portraits and send them up to the Internet within seconds.. We truly are in another golden age of photography !!!!! Enjoy your camera ....v