Since its initial inception and those first crude attempts at recording an image in a permanent form, photography has seen some huge developments. New technology over the years has allowed us to capture things never previously possible. And the pace at which it’s developed in just the last decade or two is pretty mindblowing when you think about it.
But how has it evolved over the years? What were its defining moments? This thoughtful video from the auction house, Christie’s and presented by Darius Himes, takes us on a journey through time to discover how photography has changed and the history in not just technical ability but also how photography as an artform itself has changed.
Invented in the 1830s, photography was born as a result of new discoveries in two very different worlds colliding. Optics and chemistry. And as unlikely as this collision might have seemed a couple of hundred years ago, it actually happened in two places at almost the exact same time. England and France. From there, this already cool story just gets even more interesting.
Darius – who happens to be the International Head of Photographs at Christie’s – tells a romantic tale of photography’s journey through time. His description arguably sounds as if most of the other technologies that exist today might not have been discovered (or at least not as advanced as they are) had photography not been invented.
It cleared the way for easy visual communication between large groups of people and allowed information to be shared easily – a fantastic tool for education and sharing other discoveries with others.
Many technologies today are quite visual. Without photography, there would have been no cinema. Without cinema, there’s no TV. Without TV, there’s no video, no DVDs, no Blu-Ray, no Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects. Without the technology that led us to today’s advanced optics and sensors, there’s no high-performance computers or graphics cards or even smartphones. So many technologies seem to have culminated from the knock-on effects from that initial discovery.
But there’s also a lot of art out there that would have otherwise not been created if not for the camera, too. And that’s just as important.
None of us will be around to see where photography is in another couple of hundred years from now – or what other technologies it will lead to – but with the speed at which things are progressing now, just what will be available in ten years from now will probably be pretty amazing by today’s standards.