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Why wold photography day is celebrated?

World photography day, photography, old photography


World Photography Day, observed on August 19th each year, is a celebration of the art, science, and impact of photography. This day commemorates the invention of the Daguerreotype, the first practical photographic process, and pays homage to the photographers who capture moments, evoke emotions, and preserve memories through their lenses. In this article, we will delve into the significance of World Photography Day, its historical roots, its influence on society, and the role it plays in fostering creativity, storytelling, and global connections.

The Historical Roots of World Photography Day

World Photography Day traces its origins back to the early days of photography. On August 19, 1839, the French government announced the invention of the Daguerreotype, named after its creator, Louis Daguerre. The Daguerreotype process allowed for the creation of a permanent image using a silver-coated copper plate. This breakthrough opened up new possibilities for capturing the world in a tangible and lasting form.

The commemoration of World Photography Day began in 2010 when the Australian photographer Korske Ara initiated the first global online gallery. The response was overwhelming, highlighting the universal appeal and power of photography. Since then, World Photography Day has gained popularity worldwide, with photographers, photography enthusiasts, and organizations joining together to celebrate the medium.

The Daguerreotype, named after its inventor Louis Daguerre, was the first practical photographic process that produced a permanent image. Developed in the 1830s and publicly announced in 1839, the Daguerreotype revolutionized the field of photography and laid the foundation for future advancements in the medium.

The creation of the Daguerreotype involved a combination of chemical processes and innovative techniques. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how the Daguerreotype was created:

  1. Preparing the Plate: process began with a highly polished silver-plated copper plate, which served as the base for the image. The plate was cleaned thoroughly and polished to a mirror-like finish, ensuring a smooth surface for the image formation.
  2. Sensitising the Plate: The polished plate was then exposed to iodine fumes inside a light-tight box. This process, known as iodization, created a thin layer of silver iodide on the plate’s surface. The plate became sensitive to light during this step, allowing it to capture an image when exposed in the camera.
  3. Exposing the Plate: The sensitized plate was loaded into a camera and exposed to the scene or subject being photographed. In the early days of the Daguerreotype, exposure times were relatively long, ranging from several minutes to even hours, depending on the lighting conditions and sensitivity of the plate.
  4. Developing the Plate: After exposure, the plate was removed from the camera and immediately transferred to a light-sealed box known as the developing box. Inside the box, the plate was exposed to the fumes of heated mercury. The mercury vapor reacted with the latent image captured on the plate, resulting in the formation of a visible image, typically a positive image with reversed tones.
  5. Fixing the Image: To make the image permanent and prevent further light sensitivity, the plate was treated with a solution of sodium thiosulfate, commonly known as “hypo.” The hypo solution dissolved the remaining unexposed silver iodide on the plate, leaving behind the developed silver image.
  6. Intensifying the Image (Optional): In some cases, photographers applied various techniques to enhance the visibility and contrast of the image. This involved additional chemical treatments, such as exposing the plate to fumes of bromine or chlorine, which darkened the image and increased its tonal range.
  7. Protecting the Plate: Finally, the developed and fixed plate was carefully rinsed, dried, and then sealed within a protective case or glass cover. The case prevented the image from physical damage, oxidation, or tarnishing.

The resulting Daguerreotype was a one-of-a-kind, highly detailed, and remarkably sharp image, capturing intricate details and nuances. However, the process had its limitations, such as the inability to produce multiple copies of the same image and the sensitivity of the final plate to tarnish or damage if not adequately protected.

Despite its limitations, the Daguerreotype process marked a significant milestone in the history of photography, paving the way for further innovations and advancements in the field. It showcased the immense potential of capturing and preserving images, forever changing the way people saw and documented the world around them.

The Impact and Influence of Photography

Photography has had a profound impact on society, serving as a medium of communication, artistic expression, and documentation. It allows us to capture fleeting moments, evoke emotions, and preserve memories for future generations. Photography has shaped our understanding of history, culture, and the world around us.

In the realm of journalism and documentary photography, powerful images have the ability to expose social injustices, raise awareness about important issues, and spark positive change. Iconic photographs like Eddie Adams’ Vietnam War image and Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning image of a vulture and a starving child in Sudan have become symbols of the power of visual storytelling.

Photography also plays a significant role in advertising, fashion, and commercial industries. High-quality visuals have the ability to captivate audiences, convey messages, and influence consumer behavior. The proliferation of social media platforms has further amplified the impact of photography, allowing individuals to share their perspectives, experiences, and stories with a global audience.

The Role of World Photography Day

World Photography Day serves multiple purposes in celebrating and promoting the art of photography. Firstly, it acts as a tribute to the pioneers and visionaries who paved the way for the development of this medium. It acknowledges the contribution of photographers who have captured significant moments in history, shaped our collective memory, and inspired generations of artists.

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