Photography: Where it came from

Origins of Modern Photography

Ok….so the nerd in me was uhhhhhh…wondering. When did this all get started and how. So I asked a friend of mine what she knew, who was super helpful (and decided to do more research on my own). My friend is going to a school for art classes and has been working with a friend (another mutual one) at her studio.

I found it pretty fascinating so I put my cup of tea down and stared over the tops of my glasses at my tea cup Yorkie and said….I have to let the rest o’ the world know what I found out. So here goes.

Check it out:

What is photography? Simply by definition, photography is the science art and practice of capturing light or other electromagnetic radiation and creating durable images. But there is more to photography than this definition. The history of photography can be traced back to Aristotle’s time in the 5th and 4th century BCE when the idea of a pinhole camera was described. The etymology of the word “photograph” is from two Greek words “phos” meaning “light” and “graphe” meaning drawing. Put together, it means “drawing with light.”


It makes total sense, right? In photography, lighting is everything. Have you ever seen a wedding or have had been to a photo shoot and the camera guys and gals have this giant flash looking thing (light box) or reflectors that they carry around or have the giant flash thing that attaches to their cameras? It is because light is very important for taking great pictures.


They also have what the photographers call the “Golden hour” or “magic hour” that happens an hour before or after sunrise or a sunset. Why? Because, theoretically, the light that the sun emits at theses times are at a lower angle making the light a little more soft or more diffused, warmer in hue and the shadows are longer. This makes for some perfect outdoor pictures!

Aside lighting, there are other things that are necessary to create those “wow” pictures. A photographer’s state of mind is important. He or she has to be flexible. He might have an idea of what to shoot for the day but when the perfect lighting presents itself, he might just have to take a picture of what is in the light. Patience is also a key component because it takes patience to sift through and wait for the perfect combination for the perfect pictures.

last rays

Sometimes waiting for the right lighting, or even manipulation of artificial lights can take time to create the perfect picture. Also the photographer has to try different angles, positions or even coach the subjects (if they are people) to get the right pictures.

In other words, photographers have to love what they do or the messages they try to convey within the pictures are lost. You know when you see a great photo because when you look at it, you feel the message a lot of times and not just see the message. Interpretations of the pictures are also dependent on the viewer. Like the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” what one sees and feels looking at the photograph a lot of times will vary. That is what makes a photography artistic!

Signing off for now…Yours Truly Nerdette Photographer.