"Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does." - John Berger
A general term used to encompass trends in photography from roughly 1910-1950 when photographers began to produce works with a sharp focus and an emphasis on formal qualities, exploiting, rather than obscuring, the camera as an essentially mechanical and technological tool. Also referred to as Modernist Photography, this approach abandoned the Pictorialist mode that had dominated the medium for over 50 years throughout the United States, Latin America, Africa, and Europe. Critic Sadakichi Hartmann’s 1904 “Plea for a Straight Photography” heralded this new approach, rejecting the artistic manipulations, soft focus, and painterly quality of Pictorialism and praising the straightforward, unadulterated images of modern life in the work of artists such as Alfred Stieglitz. Innovators like Paul Strand and Edward Weston would further expand the artistic capabilities and techniques of photography, helping to establish it as an independent art form.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND CULTURE
"Photography is important to society because it enables the diffusion of objective information through the visual capture of things as they really are. Photography allows people to accurately familiarize themselves with far-off landscapes and cultures. It also has the power to sway public opinion through the presentation of emotionally moving images."
Chai Hock, Singapore, Shortlist, Arts and Culture, Open competition, 2013 World Photography Awards
Digital photography has made precision and capturing reality so much easier. Every moment can be photographed exactly how it is seen through the digital window and allows which to see your image as soon as it is taken. This spares the fear of not capturing the moment you wanted to and allows you to view the image before you print it. The readiness and accessibility of the photos has also made a huge impact on society. With digital photography, you are one click away from uploading your photographs onto your computer for your viewing pleasure as soon as the pictures are taken. Social networks such as Facebook and Flickr have also evolved digital photography. These websites allow you to upload your photographs in a span of seconds for the whole world to see. Digital photography has become a way of recording your life.