PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is the newest of the media. While artists had always experimented with fixing negative images on paper through the use of varied chemicals, papers, and instruments, photography and the camera as we know it, evolved less than 200 years ago. The uniqueness of the medium lies in its ability to capture the immediate moment, a slice of time, in a fraction of a second. When the artist clicks the button on the camera, the camera records all visual that lies before it without censoring or editing anything.

The early photographs of the 19th century were regarded as novelties and experimental in their ability to capture street scenes and people posed in studios. Artists began to use photography, not as a medium unto itself, but as a study tool to better understand human anatomy. Rather than models standing in their studio for several hours without moving, models could be photographed and the photographs would record the naturalistic details for later in-depth study by the artists. As developing times decreased, photography became more practical. Though chemical accelerators shortened the exposure time to one minute, models needed to stand perfectly still or else the photograph would become blurred.  But at what point does this experimentation with new technologies and chemicals leave the realm of scientific inquiry and enter the realm of art?