Thanks to the genius French man Louis Daguerre who invented the ‘daguerreotype’ which was the world’s first-ever photographic process, we get to celebrate the World Photography Day today. Allegedly on August 19, 1839, the French government purchased the patent for the device and declared the invention of the daguerreotype as a gift to the world making it freely available to all.
The gift of photography doesn’t really come cheap these days, but compared to let’s say 30 years ago, pretty much every individual possessing a mobile phone is equipped with potential to produce imagery. It is estimated that around 55 thousand images are taken by mobile phones every second in 2022. Are they all good valuable photos worth keeping? That is another question.
How many photos do you have in your mobile phone? I have 15 k, and probably over several hundreds of thousands on my multiple hard drives. I must admit at least I regularly go back in time to check what exactly those images are, but still the number is overwhelming. However, just think about it – if tomorrow there is no electricity any more, or no access to all the server cloud services, these images sort of don’t exist any more. The only ones which stay are your polaroids, your film negatives and the ones that you have printed. It is unlikely that we will hit this course of events, but yet, the digital images are like Schroedinger’s cat – they exist and they don’t exist at the same time.
The price of film (like the price of petrol) is going out of control these days. In 2016 you could buy so much film because nobody wanted it, but then the film photo industry took a different turn and revived itself. You capture way less photos on a roll of film than with a digital counterpart, but the beauty of shooting on film is that you remember every moment you took that photo, you take your time, and you enjoy the process so much more, but it is a fragile process so you can also end up with nothing, if you didn’t load your film properly, or something happened to the roll, but your memory card can decide to get corrupted by the end of the shoot as well and sadly it happened to me more than once.
Now, some of us enjoy digital editing, some of us wish we never had to open Photoshop again ever in our life… it’s all personal. I am somewhere in between, but still I believe that if it possible, the best idea is to capture it the right way, instead of faking it with editing tools. But no judgement here, do whatever you need for your likes.
I went from only shooting the epic moments (epic weather phenomena, lights, fireworks, what not) to simply documenting every day life situations, and that is what brings me joy these days and creates my time capsule drop by drop. Battling with the social media dragons is not for me any more, I just want to look at my pretty palm shadows, the sleeping delivery guys and the ever-changing position of the moon around my covered with dust city of wonders. The world photography day is every day with those 55k photos per second, with people only reacting to visual stimulations unable to read what you have to say underneath your photos. Look at me, look at my life, look, I tell you look, and we shall be providing the images to look at.
I hope pressing that shutter button will bring you joy and content. I hope your images will come out sharp and well-composed. But most of all, I hope you have a story to tell. So tell me your story.
Until next time,
One thought on “World Photography Day”
Thanks for your thoughts.
The daguerreotype came for the price of a mercury and cyanide intoxication. Kodak had a treasure room for storing the silver bars and Orwo in East Germany had a lake, nick named the Silver Lake, that was so highly polluted that after the collapse of the country it was financially worthwhile to recycle the lake for silver, mercury and other metals.
These days all of us take part in the emission of thousands of tons of carbondioxde for the server farms that host our images.
That’s the downside. And you and I will press the shutter again, because it’s exiting to create.
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