How Photojournalism affects History

Essay by juicyfruit382High School, 11th gradeA+, October 2008

download word file, 12 pages 3.0

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."- Dorothea LangeOn August 19, 1839, the first still life photograph was publicly introduced in Paris. The first camera picture used in the first pictorial newspaper was published in London in May of 1842. On that day, photojournalism was created, and has been used ever since (Marien 1; American 32). Pictures are used in the news because they greatly enhance the information given in an article. They have the power to cause the reader to become shocked, horrified, enraged, surprised, or glad. Pictures have the ability to arouse many strong emotions. The desired affect of photojournalism is to impact public opinion through the impressions of the picture on the reader, and ultimately, to change history. Photography has often served as the best way to provide people with an accurate representation of its subject, and has been an effective way of easily getting information out to the world, often with more impact than writing.

Because of this, photography has shown to have a significant influence on public opinion, and therefore, history.

It was known that light is necessary to capture an image with a camera. In the late 1700s to early 1800s, many people tried multiple ways of creating a still life image. British Thomas Wedgwood was the first person to attempt this achievement a few years before 1800. Unfortunately, he was only able to discover how to temporarily hold an image on paper, or even sometimes white leather. These pictures were often called "sun prints" because developing these photographs required that the images be exposed to daylight (Newhall 13). Wedgewood's accomplishment, however, paved the way for future scientists and inventors looking to do the same thing.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and his brother, Claude, were passionate inventors living in...