It’s impossible to go through a day in your life without encountering some form of photography. It’s everywhere.
Even now as I am writing this, I only have to look up to come face to face with a book, Jimmy Burns’ ‘La Roja’ – which depicts the faces of Cesc Fabregas, Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres during the victorious Euro 2012 campaign with Spain on the front cover which would have originally been taken by sports photographers for their respective newspapers or magazines to use along with their coverage of the tournament.
Some of the most iconic photographs ever have been taken by sports photographers, such as Neil Leifer’s capture of the moment Muhammad Ali stood over the knocked out Sonny Liston within the first round in 1965, immortalising moments and stories which can help inspire people, as well as promoting the sport to younger current or potential fans in a way you can’t do with written word.
Another use of photography is in holiday brochures and travel guides.
In this regard, it truly is the case of a picture painting a thousand words. It is very difficult to sell a holiday destination to a customer on verbal or written word alone, they have also have to see what the place that they want to visit looks like, from its beaches, to its towns, and to how the hotel rooms look.
The goal is to take a photograph which will make the reader want to be there when they see it, which is usually the case with most beach images when glimpsed at by the overworked – giving them the idea of lounging and relaxing.
However, if I was to be overly critical, it is very easy to mislead people with photographs as well. There is always the risk of that old cliché where in some cases the hotel room looks nice on the photo, but when the customer gets there, it is nothing like the image suggests.
As a race, photography has also helped us to understand different areas of science such as medicine and the universe.
Humans have always been inquisitive and innovative types, constantly looking to find out and invent new things, and over the last century photography has assisted this massively, and will continue to do so as technology advances.
Probably the most famous use of photography in science comes under the latter of the two, with the Hubble Space Telescope being launched and left to drift through space, sending back images back to Earth, revealing things which we wouldn’t know existed without it. Click HERE for a gallery of the images returned from the Hubble Telescope.
Even before the Hubble was launched, photography has led to the discovery of Pluto, the existence of neutrons and viruses.
Medical photographers are used to document various stages of diseases, illnesses and injuries, which will in turn assist medical professionals to plan treatments or lead to breakthroughs in research.
Using photography in these ways can only be a good thing for us as humans on a whole as it allows us to understand our bodies, space and everything else we need to know, as well as helping us find out new things which can only help us out in the future.
The most used form of photography in modern society is it’s use in the commercial sector.
Walking down the street will result in your being bombarded with fast food, happy looking models in clothes, the latest blockbuster movie, anything to make us separate ourselves from our hard earned money.
As well as being the most used, it is also potentially the worst type of photography too, mainly because it is consistently misleading. Unlike the other forms of photography, these are usually highly edited images, which give the consumer a negative and not positive feeling, used to make us feel like we’re missing out if we don’t have the latest trends.
THIS Buzzfeed article comparing how fast food burgers look when advertised vs the real thing sums up commercial photography to me – It is used to make us want/crave what it is that someone is selling, but in reality, it’s not as great as it is hyped up to be, and we are usually left disappointed.