The first physical photograph was recorded in 1826. However, Photography as a concept, was around for up to 200 years before this, but was not fixed. They could be captured and viewed in the dark room but without a permanent fix invented, they would disappear soon after. Photography has been developed and somewhat distorted over the decades. Within the victorian period, photography was an extremely important part of their culture. In our lecture we looked at special devices they used to ensure that the subject would stay still for the duration of their portrait. A clamp was crafted out of iron to hold their back and neck in place while they sat the lengthy amount of time. When cameras were less developed the paper used was infused with silver oxide, which exposed to light, would develop an image. I learnt that throughout the victorian period they would also take photos of their relatives after they had passed. This would involve propping them up into human positions as well as opening their eyes to make them look alive. This concept to anyone of our time is very sadistic and creepy. However, for someone in that time, this would’ve been normal and considered a part of the grieving process.It was used to “preserve” their memory of the deceased.
We then looked at the modern aspect of photography. With the dramatic rise of selfies, there has been some controversy taking place in the media. Last year, there was a photograph taken of Obama, Cameron and Thornton Schmidt all taking a “selfie” together at the memorial service of the late Nelson Mandela.
Being powerful world leaders, there was an uproar of commenting varying from the perspective that “it shows they are human” to “They are important world leaders, they need to be respectful and reserved”
Bradley Cooper taking selfie @ oscars
What do you think?