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World Photography Day

Nishitha Ann John Sunday, August 21, 2022
World Photography Day

Photography – A Visual Reminder

Frame, look, smile, click!

Fingers are brushing on a button,

Realizing and Fixing the frame,

The finger is getting ready

The lens are being adjusted,

Behold, the picture is being clicked!

The moment is being freezed,

A shutter click is heard!

August 19, World Photography Day.

“Drawing with light”, shedding light on frames and people, photography has come a long way. From a series of blurry pictures by different great men, no one really understood the exact phenomenon on how to capture it and use cameras back then. One of the earliest camera known in history was “camera obscura”. Even though these cameras existed for a long time, no one knew how to freeze the moment and capture it. It was all a game of experiments! In 1717, Johann Heinrich Schulze captured cut-out letters on a bottle of light sensitivity. While, Thomas Wedgwood made the first reliably documented, although it was an unsuccessful attempt at capturing camera images in permanent form.

Experiments to produce a permanent photograph continued. Indeed, it was an arduous journey but just like the stroke of a brush to create a meticulous painting, it took time. It was not until 1826 that the first successful permanent photograph was created by Nicéphore Niépce at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes. The photograph was nothing but a view from a window!

Starting with monochromatic colours of black, white and hues of grey, this visual art has travelled a lot in terms of colour and texture. After a few years, colours appeared before the camera lens and people rejoiced seeing the monotonous streak, change! Here comes an era of colour photography! The 1840’s. Requiring extremely long exposures, experiments could not "fix" the photograph to prevent the color from quickly fading when it was exposed to white light. Well, it took a few more years until the first permanent ‘colour’ photograph was taken in 1861 using the three-color-separation principle first published by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1855. Implementation of a fully-fledged color photography was hindered by the limited sensitivity of early photographic materials. In a world where our eyes explore a wide range of colours, the materials were mostly sensitive to blue, only slightly sensitive to green and virtually insensitive to red. But in 1907, the first commercially successful color process known as the ‘Autochrome’ was introduced by the Lumière brothers.

Meanwhile, different types of camera emerged along the lane. Film cameras started seeing us. As we insert a roll of a few films like a rectangular sheet, the fingers started learning to capture with poise and style. Giving the users a sense of management, people learned to click the right moments! Time has flown by and now, you have much more than a film camera. Developing rolls, producing vivid images are long-lost memories. A kind of memory that will be cherished but has it gone extinct? No! Even now, different designs have emerged to make the film cameras looked stylish but the emotions haven’t changed!

With the emergence of a digital camera, everything goes with a click. From an era where only twenty pictures could be a click, the evolution has reached a milestone where more than a thousand pictures can be clicked, provided you have enough storage space! But one thing that doesn’t change is the emotion behind a picture.

Sometimes, you freeze the moment and capture the picture but you never know what is going on behind it! Photography can be tricky if you consider the field and not the emotions and the picturesque beauty behind a scene! A photograph is a long connection involving heart and soul. Once taken and not explored back, it will be forgotten. The next time when you revive the photos, it instils different emotions! It may be different to the initial times when you saw the picture. At times, you curse the moment and cry but there is a curve of lips too. It makes us realise who we were and what we are now. It need not necessarily predict our future but those pictures still remain a treasure and reminds us of what those days were like. It prompts us to speak what those days were, express our emotions and resolve the unresolved. It gifts us a glimpse of what we want when they pop up coincidently.

When a person captures a moment, they capture an entire heart too. Everyone has a journey involving blurry, ugly frames but as the journey continues, you click pictures that make you smile. The depth of emotions like happiness, love, hatred and fear the camera captures, stays on forever like a glue!

Nishitha Ann John
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