American Photo Essay

Please read the follow paragraph and answer the questions holistically not individually.

In 1900 the Kodak Brownie camera debuted for $1.00, (approximately $27.00 present day) and put photography into the hands of amateurs.  Today, an event is often captured with cell phones, and then emailed, or posted online, all digitally and in a matter of moments.  Before the use of Brownie cameras, photography was a difficult and arduous task…as well as expensive.  Before camera-featured cell phones, even sharing a digital photo required the photographer to be at a computer.  Much has changed regarding technology and photography, but regardless, it is still about image making and the impact the image makes; documenting what the lens sees and what the film/sensor absorbs.

After watching American Photography, seeing and hearing in detail the areas where photography is utilized, what strength or ability does photography have that makes it a valuable tool for its users?  How and why?  The majority of photographs are made with an exposure of a fraction of a second.  Why is a sliver of a second, 1/250th of a second proof of anything?  That 1/250th of a second is used to represent an entire moment, conjure up memories, and be used as proof, evidence of something. A fragment of a second creates an image of a person and how we perceive them, both flattering and embarrassing. Think of the images used by politicians for their opponents, are any of them flattering?  Most are in black and white, why do you think this is?  How would the image be perceived if it were in color? After watching the film, what topic or story was the most intriguing?  Why?

Make sure you spell-check and check grammar before posting.  A response of at least three well-written paragraphs is recommended.



  1. Lauren Amendola

    Photography has always been important in our world since its been created and I think it will continue to be. It lets us document memories in our lives and in the rest of the world. It is also a form of art. I think we don’t realize how important photography is and how much we use it today.
    Photography is a valuable tool. For example, it lets us see parts of the world where we could not go. Photography is a tool for places like the newspaper because people want a picture to come a long with the story to make it more realistic seeming and more interesting. It is also a tool for artists as they use their cameras as paint brushes. Photography is a tool because it helps us almost believe in the thing we wouldn’t without it.
    It is amazing to think that a sliver of a second can some up a whole moment in time but sometime it does. Even though, for some photos it may be made to look a certain way when it is really not like that because it’s just a second of the actual time period. On the other hand, that sliver of a second can determine what we think of a place or how we judge it. Sometimes pictures are not what they seem, but other times they show exactly how it was and is proof of what happened in that moment of time.
    A picture is worth a thousand words as they say, but sometimes you can change what the words mean based on editing the picture a certain way. For example, when you see the commercial for politics, the person they are competing against in their campaign is always not a good picture of them or makes them look less friendly and alive. They make changes like having the pictures in black and white and this makes them look less alive and who wants an unfriendly or untrustworthy person in making big decisions in our government? If the campaigner were to do the pictures in color, they might look more alive and happier and just better looking overall.
    After watching American Photography, the most interesting part of it was the brownie camera. It was the most intriguing to me because it was the first camera where people got to actually have their own and be able to shoot pictures of fun things and not just the annual picture at a studio. It was also interesting because it opened up a whole new world to photography and that was very important because photography is such a big part of all of our lives today.

  2. Tejal Swami

    Photography was an important tool that was to catch history. It had the ability to take pictures of historical events that took place years ago, but not only did it capture important events, it was also a good tool to retain memories. These were the biggest strengths. Photography was a form of art. Referring to the video it was that photography was the most trustworthy information. In 1900 people started sending postcards for sharing images, for example, high school graduation, a new born baby, marriages, etc.
    A silver of a second, 1/250th was a second proof anything because a lot of photos were taken the way we don’t see them. Usually the people that they were getting photographed were changed a little to make it seem like it was modernized. A photographer named Frank went to places and captured images of people just the way they look which showed their everyday life.
    When politicians were campaigning, many photographs were taken of them. Either in color or black and white. If the pictures were taken in color it made it look like they were confident and they were the right person to vote for. When they were taken in black and white it seemed dull and looked more like a fighting scene.
    The most important part of the movie that I thought was interesting was looking into space. It made me realize that if the camera was not invented then we wouldn’t be able to know how it looks outside the planet earth. Without the camera we wouldn’t know that there were nine planets and how each of them looked. Due to that we have the usage of photography as an everyday tool.

  3. Amelia Gomez

    Photography has been vital to society since its creation. It’s become more and more accessible as time has progressed. Photography has the power to capture things from historically fundamental images to simple sentimental memories. Photography has become increasingly more simplistic, which puts ability into anyone’s hands. Photography is a window into the rest of the world, the world that we may not see every day. Things like the Sahara Desert or the frozen tundra of the Arctic. It’s graphic proof that things we didn’t think were real, actually do exist.

    The split second of exposure that captures a memory is important because it can make or break someone’s image. A picture taken at a dreadful angle can make a person look the exact reciprocal of what or who they really are. This is a practice used by many politicians and their publicist today. Politicians often use photos of their opponents that are taken in black and white, which, in my opinion, gives them a manifestation of being stuck in the past and being dogmatic towards the changes that today’s society needs. The photographs are also sometimes taken from a lower angle, giving the politician a menacing appearance that the public wouldn’t want in office. If the pictures were taken in color, it would give an essence of being full of life and open-mindedness to ideas and changes. Some politicians take photos at eye level to show that they don’t feel superior to citizens, but willing to listen and rely on citizens.

    After watching the film, I found that the invention of the Brownie camera was the most fascinating. The fact that photography was made so accessible to the average Joe interests me. Taking photos and having memories documented was something people did maybe 4 or 5 times in their lifetime. The Brownie camera changed the 4-5 times into everyday! Compared to cameras today, the Brownie must’ve been a HUGE pain in the neck, but back then, it was a miracle.

  4. Chris Waechter

    Photography has changed the world since its creation. It has the ability to change a persons thoughts, emotions, and motivations. It is vital to society; photos give information that can’t be conveyed in words, give people a sense of wonder, give historical evidence of the past and present, and it’s cherished and always will be. However, the importance of photography has diminished, cameras are inventions we take for granted now.

    Photography shows people what they haven’t ever seen before or could have imagined, that’s why its attracting and addictive. Good and bad, photos allow people to draw their own conclusions about what they see, sometimes often misleading. National Geographic magazine was the first to show pictures from around the world. They caught everyone’s attention because people were not used to seeing other cultures different than their own. Even the complexity of a new animal species on film shocked people. Life magazine would be the second magazine to generate meaningful images as well. People were so interested in photography because of the way they were taken, which can change the mood and appearance of the image entirely.

    Photography is a tool that is now so well developed, you can capture a sliver of a second, 1/250th of a second to be exact. Even this tiny fraction in time can convey the same tone and appearance as those with 30-second exposure. Capturing a specific moment can freeze time and the expressions we make. It can be used as proof, showing the viewer exactly what happened or what is there at that moment. Though sometimes misleading, a photo allows the viewer to perceive a person however they want. Cropping and retouching is evidence that photos are not always accurate. We have become accustomed to seeing perfect photos, and so we usually can’t tell the difference anymore.

    Politicians use unflattering images of their opponents to convey the distrust in the candidate for the viewer. People often don’t want to see bad photos of people because they stick with them in their mind. That is entirely the point, by thinking about the bad photo, you would want to vote for the other person that doesn’t have such a bad photo. If the photo were in color, it would change the tone of the image entirely. People don’t view photos in color as horrific as those in black and white, as demonstrated by the WWII photos taken at Auschwitz. But it still can go either way.

    The most intriguing topic in the movie is how photos were used as an icon for entertainment. It makes me laugh that people would sit on their couches and look at pictures all day for entertainment. I understand their fascination though because I can imagine it was a new break through in technology treasured in their time as much as the ipod or computer is today. I believe photos will always be relevant to people in some case, whether for family, entertainment, or discovery.

  5. Yasmin Rivas

    When photography was first invented it was very rare in the world. It was something shocking at first. The first camera invented was the Brownie. The Brownie was a small and very basic cardboard box camera with a meniscus lens that took two and one fourth inch square pictures on a 117 roll film. The price was only a dollar. Of course everyone was going excited for this new technology. People started to purchase more and more of the brownie. It was something new, something rare, as I said before. It captured so many memories in the human life, memories that could be kept forever. At that time, not all knew what was going on out in the world. There was good and bad. Photography started to capture reality. It captured the different life’s people lived around the world, that people in other countries didn’t have a clue about. Photography is valuable tool because, with only a snapshot, you can capture such an important memory that can be kept forever and be passed on to children, grandchildren. Photography can capture a picture of a place where people wouldn’t be able to visit but they’d be able to imagine themselves there by looking at the picture. Now that I think about it, photography is a lot more important than I thought it was.

    The silver of a second 1/250th is how fast a scenery or moment can be captured. There could be something very exciting going on and all of a sudden “SNAP” everything freezes time has stopped, a camera has captured the exciting moment. It can be proof of a situation, or even evidence of something, or it can just be a picture of family or someone out in the world with a different cultural background, dressed differently. When politicians use photo’s for their opponents, they will most likely be using the photo that looks the best so people vote for them. If the picture is in color, it makes the person look more down to earth, a lot more confident with what they believe and think. When the picture is black and white, the person or scenery looks more bitter and not as outstanding in the colored picture in my opinion. I think that they use the pictures in black and white because it also makes the person look more serious into what their into.

    After watching the movie, what I find most intriguing, is the camera, the Brownie. I think that it was really interesting how people got so excited over this new technology that was being invented to capture memories. Just like now in our time we get excited over internet and cellphones. It’s basically the same thing. Capturing a special moment was something so fascinating and exciting back in the day when the brownie was invented because it rarely happened, but that all changed once the brownie came out for purchase. People started to use it everyday and with one single snapshot, they got to capture a special memory to keep forever.

  6. Tyler Ortmann

    Photography has always been an importance since the 1800’s. Photography can capture all the place no one can go. Photography has always been there to capture your trip to where ever, the latest and newsiest news of the world, and natural disasters. It seems that through out the years, people are more likely to understand what that natural disaster or news is by looking at the picture with the text, other than just the fine text itself. The reason why photos were captured at such small amount of time were because it could either make the photography pleased or make him disappointed.

    They way politicians take down there opponent is by showing the horrible photos of them. There main idea is to make them look like the bad guy or making them look like they will do more damage then them. The politicians use black and white because it make them look like what ever it is they did was a bad act. It has more of a bad act put into it. Now if that image were to be put into color, it would have a more warm feeling as if it was not a bad act.

    After watching the film in class, all the different stories were very interesting. The one that caught my eye and was very interesting was the FSA or the Farm Security Administration story. I like how they used photos to show the good in the great depression. But what was also great was that they didn’t just always show the good going on, instead they showed the bad too. It showed the Dust Bowl, the people on the streets in New York City, and the famous photo of Allie Mae Burroughs. Overall, the FSA took over ¼ million photos in the six years of work, success.

  7. Kayleigh Briggs

    Photography is a valuable tool for many people. In most ways it is used for capturing memories that can only be relived through a photograph. In older times people only used to capture family moments once or twice a year with a family portrait, now people can just click a button and capture an entire days worth of memories that can’t be replaced.

    The sliver of a second is significant to the photography because that is the moment in which he/she can create an outstanding image or create the total opposite. Nowadays politicians’ use images to portray how they want their opponent to seem to the public’s eye. Most of the time they are not flattering and often times embarrassing for the opponent. However the images taken of themselves’ make them look entirely outstanding compared to the photos taken of their opponent. Often times they are also in black and white, I believe this is to create an uninteresting image. To the crowd they would rather see a fully colored image and when they see a black and white image it is not as appealing to the public. If the photos were all in color people would view them differently. In my opinion colored images attract more attention than black and white images do.

    The most intriguing section of the movie was hearing about Robert Cape. During D-day Robert Capa took magnificent photographs of the many horrific events that went on during that era. He risked his life to capture this historical event. He actually was in the water and photographed the soldiers in a manner that for many it is unattainable to do. However, when he went to get the rolls of film developed most of the images had gotten destroyed because of the harsh chemicals they are processed through. All except for about ten were lost. Robert Copa was an amazing photographer and went through great risks to be who he was.

    Photography has made many people who they are today. Without it we would not know thoroughly about many events that have happened throughout history. It is without a doubt one of the most significant inventions of its time.

  8. Lauren Cacatian

    Photography is a crucial part of our everyday lives; imagine where we would be as a society without cameras or photography. Photography is valuable for many different reasons. It captures a moment that may otherwise be forgotten. We can look back upon a moment and laugh, cry, unite, and reminisce. A painting is a source of great art but cannot accurately provide an exact representation of a subject one-hundred percent. Also, getting out a camera to take a picture is much more convenient than sitting down and taking time to draw or paint a picture. Now, looking back at the movie and seeing how much photography has evolved, it is important to realize how lucky and fortunate we are to have access to such a precious device.

    Sure, the camera only shows 1/250th of a second of time. But that 1/250th of a second could be crucial to something or someone, such as a murder, a war, or somebody walking by. Think of paparazzi and how quick and accurate they have to be to supply a decent picture of a celebrity hiding their face or making a run to their car. Maybe, just for 1/250th of a second that celebrity lifts their head, and the camera catches it. Now, the paparazzi have a picture they can sell or take back to their publisher. Unfortunately, sometimes photography can be used to a bad extent. With editing sites and software like Photoshop or Flickr, many images can be distorted or edited to create an untrue or biased perspective on a subject. Just recently we have seen political attack ads on candidates in the elections. The use of black and white instead of color can be seen often when a candidate is attacking another. Not only are photographs and words used out of context, but they are also shown in a dingy, dark, gray color. When the candidate who ran the ads comes on screen, happy music and color comes back on, a sign that the candidate is much more friendly and relatable than the other.

    American Photography was very interesting and intriguing to watch. Many of the topics caught my attention and I learned so much about cameras and photography that I never knew before. The most awing thing I learned about photography was the war photos. I never even though about the fact that war had never been documented in photographs until World War I. Finally, the public got to see the harsh conditions and danger that troops experienced until those photos came out. It made Americans become even more proud of their country and thankful to our troops. Overall, American Photography was a great mini-series that taught me a lot about the way photography has involved in America, it made me feel lucky to live in the 21st century where we have access to photographs and cameras with no hassle. It makes me excited to think about just where we might go next.

  9. Emily Coe

    To people all over the world, old and young, living and dead, photography has been a very beneficial tool. Photography is proof that something happened. Most people only believe things they see, a picture proves events that happened long ago. Photography is also a means for capturing memories with close family and friends. When photography was first invented, families would take a family portrait once a year. Now family pictures are taken all the time, whether it’s a special occasion or just a walk to the park. A picture can be taken in a split second and capture the fondest of memories.

    Pictures can be taken so quickly, capturing the funniest of moments, or even the bad memories. Either way, pictures give people moments to judge you on. Photo editing software makes it easy to change a good picture of you into something bad and make it look completely realistic still. The angle and position of the camera greatly influence how the picture turns out. Politicians frequently use bad angled pictures to use against their opponents. They will take the picture from lower down and make the politician look superior to the people, which is definitely a turn off for voters. They also take the pictures in black and white. When these pictures are taken in black and white rather than color, it changes the mood completely. Black and white pictures give off a dull and boring mood. Whereas a colorful picture gives off a warm and lively mood, and makes the picture much more interesting and appealing to the viewer.
    The coolest part of the movie for me was definitely the part where they talked about using pictures to inform people about child labor. Child labor was a big issue in the 1800s and to think that because of those photographers, I’m not forced to work in coal mines and in fields at a young age is really relieving. They changed my life and I am so glad they took those pictures and decreased child labor, eventually getting rid of it. Because of them, I get to go to school and get an education so I can have a successful future.
    Photography was a useful tool in the 1800s and it continues to prosper now. People will continue to have ways to document memories and special moments throughout their lives and leave history for people to learn about in the future.

  10. Vanessa Lopez

    Photography has and will always be important in our lives. The mere idea that someone can capture the very moment when a baby is born or when a loved one passes away gives users an expanded use of their creativity. People need prove to make informed decisions, and a picture speaks for itself. A picture only shows the truth giving people a chance to look back and grieve or laugh. Photography has the power to change a person’s way of thinking and even the way they look at themselves. In American Photography, pictures of the evil that lurks among us really hangs on to the viewer’s hearts. Without pictures of the ugly truth, people would be ignorant to the reality and danger of what goes on around us. If a photographer wants to make their point across they purposely use sad or disturbing pictures to gain the respect of more viewers. While other photographers use embarrassing pictures of opponents or people with a lot of respect to convey negative messages.

    A silver of a second is the proof of everything. It is the time that no one pays attention to when experiencing a murder or watching a war, it is the twitch of an eye when someone has been shot; it is the tear drop coming out of a new born baby when she’s hungry. It is the accurate and precise moment that photographers can use to support an idea. It is the moment a celebrity realizes a camera is in her face, now that picture is on the front page of all the magazines. The use of the camera is in the fate of the photographer, the result can be used for the good or bad. The use of black and white instead of color in the political ads is used in a dramatic way. Often the opponent is in the gray, dull, everyday kind of gloomy black and white setting while the other candidate is full of color and excitement with happy or joyous vibes bursting off the screen.

    After watching American Photography my whole perception was altered, I suddenly had an appreciation for cameras and pictures whether they were embarrassing or not. What really caught my attention was when they talked about how the African Americans were treated. The picture of the boy being hosed down my water was devastating. Sure everyone hears about the abuse and neglect they suffered, but until one actually sees that picture and his helpless body just standing there, I don’t think anyone has the slightest clue of what they experienced just because they were of a different skin color. I gained a new respect for different races all out of one picture. It gives me hope and excitement to think of what is next to come.

  11. Devyn Webber

    “Photography; a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” This quote by Ansel Adams begins to describe what photography is, and why it is so valuable. Photography freezes feelings that become embedded in your mind, it gives you a new visual reality, gets people aware, brings people together, and for the most part, changes our lives. Images from the civil rights movement, and others such as Quang Duc, Phan Thi, and Mary Ann, all tug at emotions. Sympathy, outrage, and horror evoke from such pictures. The pictures are truth and seem to put reality on blast, screaming and crying and making you listen. 

    And all these things are caught in a split second. That 1/250th of a second is used to represent an entire moment, conjure up memories, and be used as evidence of something. A fragment of a second creates an image of a person and how we perceive them, both flattering and embarrassing. For example, the images used by politicians for their opponents; none of them are flattering. Most are in black and white. This black and white effect makes them seem bad. Criminals pictures are usually posted in black and white and when you think of black and white you do not get excited. If they were to post a picture of their  opponent in color, people would perceive the person differently. They might think more of the person just because the color brings happiness and warmth and comfort because that is what we are used too.

    After watching the film on American Photography, there was not a specific topic that was super intriguing, but to me, watching the videos and just realizing how important photography is and trying to imagine where we would be without it was the most fascinating part. Photography surrounds us, embraces us, and creates us, and to try and think of a world without photography is just plain mad.

  12. Jeremy Milligan

    Ever since the camera was invented it was a huge impact on people’s lives. Before the Brownie camera was invented for the pubic, people saw real photos of places they had never been to. Instead of looking at a drawing of something, they could see a real photograph as if it were their own lives. Today, looking at pictures is very common and doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. If I were to say “boat” you would most likely imagine a picture of a boat and not a video of a boat or a drawing. That is because pictures are more important than you would think. With all this technology today, how is the picture still so common and not considered that old? It was created over a century ago and still cameras are everywhere. We should just be able to take pictures with our minds. I believe that is still very common because technology has changed and the method of using cameras has also changed a lot. Today we can take a high quality picture with our phone and instantly upload it to any image sharing website or social networking site.

    Back in the day however, you would take pictures with your film camera and then send it in the mail to have it developed. Six to eight weeks later you would get the photos back and be all happy about it. This is how it worked with the Brownie Camera. It was a great deal for only a buck, but back then a dollar was worth a lot more. Today with the use of instant uploading, you would not have to risk losing all of your film to a developer that messed it all up. When you take a picture, it captures time for a fraction of a second and it is frozen there in either the film or the digital camera. You can go back and remember the memory of when it happened and how it happened. You may also see things that you never saw before because you have all the time in the world to see that particular fraction of time. Politicians use this to their advantage, they would use a fragment of time of their opponent and make it black and white to either show their mistakes in the past or show that they are not what you want. If it were kept in color, then it would be more warming and have more appeal to the people.

    I think that the most intriguing topic was when the man that took pictures of the burning monk was talking about what he had to do. He said that while he was watching this man burn alive, he had to adjust the exposure and everything and take pictures. Today these pictures that he took are actually important as in what a photographer has to go through, that they have to go through sad times and do their job.

  13. Sarah Noell

    Photography has definitely been an important part of history, and it’s revolutionized our lives to the point of no return. I feel as though anyone can take a picture and it can at least turn out decent and I think that its something that people will continue to use through out the future. Some things that seem to attract people is the fact that it’s so effortless that anyone can do it, and that makes people seem as though they’ve done it all by themselves and many people need encouragement like that. Though at the same time they may get carried away and get too cocky, that a picture was all of their creation. Photography is definitely an art and no matter what you’re capturing everyone can relate to art. Photography has also let us explore the places that we may never be able to go to, and it brought those places right to our doorstep.

    Unfortunately because pictures capture only a sliver of a second we may not have the chance to know someone’s true personality or see their true emotions or even understand the situation. But it is truly amazing that a small piece of machinery can move so fast that it can capture those beautiful or embarrassing moments faster then the human eye can. That sliver of a second can act as proof of a good or bad thing and it should never be taken lightly because it can build up or break down someone’s relationships or careers.

    Pictures can be changed and manipulated to make someone look bad or good. For instance politicians. Many politicians use pictures of their opponents that are not flattering or are in black and white. I think that this is because they want that opponent to seem dull and lifeless and with no color you can achieve this.

    After watching these videos I have to say that the most intriguing stories were the ones about the war. Its kind of cliché but for some reason people are just attracted to war. I think that it’s really fascinating how many photographers put their lives on the line to take pictures of worldly events for the people who other wise would miss it. Although I think its lame that they really only showed the things that glorified our team and alienated the enemy. But all in all our lives would be drastically different without photography and we should celebrate its existence in our lives.

  14. Ben Tonnar

    Photography is easily recognized as a milestone in history,something we use everyday as well. Photography has become more and more accessible as time passed and even nowadays toddlers even know how to take pictures. Photography has the power to capture things from historical images to simple family memories. Photography has become increasingly more simplistic, which makes it accessible to anyone. Photography is a window into the rest of the world, the world that we may not see every day. Things like the Amazon rainforest or the tribes of ancient africa. It’s graphic proof that things we didn’t think were real, actually do exist.

    The split second of exposure that captures a memory is important because it can make or break someone’s image. A picture taken at a dreadful angle can make a person look the exact reciprocal of what or who they really are. This is a practice used by many politicians and their publicist today. Politicians often use photos of their opponents that are taken in black and white, which, in my opinion, gives them a manifestation of being stuck in the past and being dogmatic towards the changes that today’s society needs. The photographs are also sometimes taken from a lower angle, giving the politician a menacing appearance that the public wouldn’t want in office. If the pictures were taken in color, it would give an essence of being full of life and open-mindedness to ideas and changes. Some politicians take photos at eye level to show that they don’t feel superior to citizens, but willing to listen and rely on citizens.

  15. Kayla Laguna

    The beauty of photography is that almost anybody has the ability to push the button on the right hand corner of a camera and capture a quick moment in someone’s life. The sheer magnificence of photography is that with the proper techniques it can capture the emotion of a specific time and place and make the viewer of the image feel it too. The photographer can enhance the emotion or essence of the image by using effects or techniques such as lighting, camera angles, shutter speed etc. The object within the camera’s lens is simply a blank canvas swarmed with emotion and possibilities the photographer can grasp and develop.

    A sliver of a second might not seem like an adequate amount of time for any action in the real world but in the world of photography it is perfectly sufficient to take an image. This being because only a second is needed for a camera to capture a mood representing an entire moment. A fraction of a second as miniscule as it is still manages to catch a person’s smile breaking, a blink of the eyes or a flip of the hair. All these quick, petty actions are able to help or hurt a person’s image. For example, politicians are typically photographed in a black and white because their opponents want voters to perceive them in a serious, old fashioned way shunning what they will bring to government as an outdated way of thinking. The image of a politician in color might convey a more vivid and bold way of thinking.

    After the series of American Photography videos showcasing a glimpse into the past of photography, I found the topic of photo cropping quite intriguing. Photography began as just a bare, simple art but then after improvements and technology it only allowed a negative window to be open. Photo cropping brings forth questions of privacy, authenticity and integrity. Just how honest are photographers nowadays if the tools to destroy a person’s reputation are present? The answer to this lies in the hands of the photographer. May photography be viewed as an art to cherish, not one to fear. Photography truly is beautiful because it helps to remember all the memories, sentiments and utter essence of a time in the past.


    Photography is the process, activity and art of creating. Photography is very crucial to our lives today and the ways that we use it to capture either historical events or even just pictures of something as fun and simple as some friends having a good time. Back when the Kodak Brownie camera first came out in 1900 to everyday people, selling for just $1.00, people could take pictures themselves of virtually anything. Before then taking photos was only done by professionals and it was merely too expensive for the average family. Most families had only gotten their pictures taken maybe once or twice in their lifetime. After the Kodak Brownie camera came out people could take pictures of whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Not only did they have the ability to do so, but now they could do it cheaper than the professionals.

    The majority of photographs are made with an exposure of a fraction of a second. These photographs are caught in a fraction of a second but can be powerful in many ways and how they represent a moment, a memory, a day, an event or even a time period. These photographs are also more convenient rather than painting a scene. Not only are they more convenient and easy but they are more efficient for using to prove something from history. Although they can also be manipulated just like paintings. Photographers can use lighting, angles or photoshop to change the message or meaning of a photograph. Just like photos that politicians use against their opponents, they’re usually not flattering. They use effects on these photos to make the other person look bad. For example, using black and white may make the opponent look boring, dull and lifeless. If the same image were shown in color it would send a better message and feeling towards the people. Something as simple as color could make the same picture send out an entire different meaning or message.

    After watching the film, i was most surprised about how much life was changed after the camera. It was really amazing to see all the differences in life that it made to society. When the Kodak Brownie camera was released in 1900, it instantly became a success. Before then normal people didn’t have access to cameras, infact, families only had gotten their pictures taken maybe once or twice in their entire lifetime. After the Kodak Brownie camera was released people could all of a sudden take pictures just as easy for only $1. People began taking pictures of things not everyone knew about and a bigger variety of photography. It also became helpful to newspapers and sending out information to people by photos. It became entertainment. It was also life changing, showing things like extremem racism and how differently and unfair they were treated. This video was really amzing and i liked to watch how it transformed life.


    Photography is the process, activity and art of creating. Photography is very crucial to our lives today and the ways that we use it to capture either historical events or even just pictures of something as fun and simple as some friends having a good time. Back when the Kodak Brownie camera first came out in 1900 to everyday people, selling for just $1.00, people could take pictures themselves of virtually anything. Before then taking photos was only done by professionals and it was merely too expensive for the average family. Most families had only gotten their pictures taken maybe once or twice in their lifetime. After the Kodak Brownie camera came out people could take pictures of whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Not only did they have the ability to do so, but now they could do it cheaper than the professionals.

    The majority of photographs are made with an exposure of a fraction of a second. These photographs are caught in a fraction of a second but can be powerful in many ways and how they represent a moment, a memory, a day, an event or even a time period. These photographs are also more convenient rather than painting a scene. Not only are they more convenient and easy but they are more efficient for using to prove something from history. Although they can also be manipulated just like paintings. Photographers can use lighting, angles or photoshop to change the message or meaning of a photograph. Just like photos that politicians use against their opponents, they’re usually not flattering. They use effects on these photos to make the other person look bad. For example, using black and white may make the opponent look boring, dull and lifeless. If the same image were shown in color it would send a better message and feeling towards the people. Something as simple as color could make the same picture send out an entire different meaning or message.

    After watching the film, i was most surprised about how much life was changed after the camera. It was really amazing to see all the differences in life that it made to society. When the Kodak Brownie camera was released in 1900, it instantly became a success. Before then normal people didn’t have access to cameras, infact, families only had gotten their pictures taken maybe once or twice in their entire lifetime. After the Kodak Brownie camera was released people could all of a sudden take pictures just as easy for only $1. People began taking pictures of things not everyone knew about and a bigger variety of photography. It also became helpful to newspapers and sending out information to people by photos. It became entertainment. It was also life changing, showing things like extremem racism and how differently and unfair they were treated. This video was really amzing and i liked to watch how it transformed life.

  18. Tori Okada

    Photography is valuable to people because it allows people to capture a moment in time so that it is not forgotten. When a picture is taken of an object and/or subject it is taken in just a fraction of a second. This split second in time in which the image is captured is proof that something happened at that moment in time. The photographer can then use the images to show the beauty of a person or show what happens on a battle field in the middle of a war, depending on whom and where the picture was taken. Photography can also be used by everyday people to capture important times in their family, like when a baby first learns to walk or when someone graduates.

    Politicians also use photography. In elections the commercials often show black and white pictures of there opponent in situations that are far from ideal. When I see a black and white picture of a politician I wonder why they aren’t in color. I think they aren’t in color because they want possible voters to believe that there are only two sides to them and that they want people to think that they don’t hide between the lines that are between the colors if the image were in color. If the image was in color I think people would think that that politician thought that he was better then the others and that he should be the one that was elected, not his opponent.

    As for the film that we watched the thing I found most intriguing was that the government did not allow pictures that showed what really happened on the battle field in WW1, and in a way lied about what was actually happening in the war. The government’s controls on what pictures were printed of the battles were absolute. I found this interesting because the first amendment in the Bill of Rights says that we have a freedom of speech, press, religion, and petition which allows us to say and print what ever we want without the government being able to do anything about it.

  19. Danielle Landry

    Before 1900, photography was merely a concept of tedious posed images. However the Kodak Brownie camera took photography to a level of experiences, memories, life; and turned our everyday American lives into something extraordinary. By simply pricing the Brownie camera at $27 we have given Americans the ability to impact the world. We now put the average person into a position of significance rather than the reoccurring replica. Today the ability to capture the world is given to us in the forms of digital cameras, cell phones, internet, and email. Regardless of how photography is utilized we are now able to make an even bigger impact than before.

    Dating back from the late centuries in the film American Photography, the detailed area to capture photography remains as the most valuable tool. In 1/250th, a silver second, an entire moment is represented. The price of capturing images incredibly fast leaves us questioning. Can these images still be proof? Because of the detail that resides in photos the aptitude to capture proof is simple. But can we trust everything we see in a photograph? The technology surrounding us gives anyone the accessibility to alter a photo, incredible simple. If we choose to have the world perceive our opponents in an unflattering form, we can. Thinking back and even to modern day how we see our heroes an enemies lies in the hands of the photographer. If the opposition arises to either degrade or idolize someone, we have the power to do so.

    How we perceive a photograph can also be based on black and which verses color images. If we view an image in black and white we will most likely platform it as history. As to color images we put on the scale of present day. The impact of black and white verses color can majorly affect the way we view the meaning behind the photo. Even so photography is better yet used as the greatest form of persuasion. As shown in American Photography, images during the time of the World War II were used to shape opinions. By photographing the opposing side we were able to turn these people into enemies. By photographing soldiers with a smile on their face we were able to recruit even more soldiers. And by photographing “the pin up girl” we were able to gain patriotism. Photography has given us opportunity, power, proof, detail, and beauty. But what we choose to do with that image relies in the hands of the photographer.

  20. Keith Filegar

    The introduction of photography to society forever changed the way in which humans view and perceive the world. Photography has become an outlet of culture, art, media, and world views; and has created a society that relies upon more than most people realize.

    After watching American Photography i realized the strength of photography as a tool for telling not just simple stills of the real world, but a way to tell an entire story with 1/250th of a second. I was able to see the way that one image can forever alter the course of history. An example of this, is the images of the true horror of the war in Vietnam and how they led directly to the largest war protest that the United States has never before seen.

    Some people fail to recognize that the sliver of a second that is a photo can be used to shed a positive light upon the person within it, yet at the same time detriment an entire career. This is mostly shown in presidential primaries when opponents use photographs taken out of context to show evil in the opposition. Photographs can ruin careers whether it be photo taken at the wrong time and turned to make someone look bad or a photo taken at the right time that incriminates a candidate in poor ethics or whatever it may be. Usually these pictures are taken in a black and white setting simply because the change in color scheme can easily create negative feelings.

    After watching the film, I found the story of the loss of the only pictures taken on the beach of Normandy during D-Day. The part that particularly intrigued me was the fact that it was something as simple as leaving the drying room on too hot that managed to destroy the only visual record of the greatest battle of modern history. The story was very representative to me the way that we take for granted the modern digital photos that require no long process to develop and which can be edited to look any way that anyone could possibly desire. I suppose the largest realization that I had was the impact of photography on the lives of all people that liver in America and other places around the world.

  21. Karmen

    Photography is not merely clicking a button. It’s a unique art that not many people are lucky enough to have a true skill in. It takes someone who is skilled enough to know the mechanics behind it and who has the passion and enthusiasm to capture the moment in a flash. Although anyone can pick up a camera and take a photo it does not necessarily mean it is “good” picture. The beauty behind photography is that in a second the photographer can capture something unimaginable.

    Looking through the lens of a camera today we see the potential and beauty of everything in a digitalized way. We have a blank canvas until we click the button on the far right corner and with in a matter of 1/250th of a second an image is created. With this blank canvas we can create something that helps us remember those had to be there moments. A long while ago a simple black and white picture was used to show a posed family moment or just the family in general. Now we look at how far we have come since this and its almost unbelievable.

    Photography seems to play a large part in our lives today. Whether it is capturing a family moment or using it to install an idea. Politicians have seemed to catch on to this pretty fast. Soon did they realize the potential one image could have on them and their opponents. They use photography as an extra skill to help boost there image or more of the way they want to be seen by the general public. The photos usually seen of politicians look like pure perfection, no flaws what so ever. But how realistic is that? Also a thing to notice is when they have pictures of their opponents they will usually be shot in black and white so that the person seems uninteresting. A person is going to be more drawn to a colored image than a plain and boring black and white one. As you can see photography can have a big impact on us.

    The thing that I was most fascinated by in this film was the amount of information it provided and the knowledge I obtained from it. I learned so many fascinating new things about cameras and history that I probably never would have known any other way. Most of the film I was very intrigued to what was happening, but there was one thing that really caught my eye. The thing that really got me was the photos taken of African Americans when they were being hosed down during the civil rights movements. The looks on their faces were powerful and full of emotion. It made me have incredible sympathy for them. Not that I didn’t before, but I think it wasn’t until I really looked at the image that it truly affected me. The fact that one image can have that much of an affect on someone is amazing.

  22. Megan Lenington

    Photography is an invaluable technological advance that has shaped humanities out look on the world for centuries, and centuries to come.
    That fraction of a moment, that 1/250th of a second when the flash hits an object can make or break history. It is vital to understand angling, lighting, and so on, to truly embrace the scene you are trying to capture. Photos influence how we portray the world and its inhabitants, if the image we see is distorted, then our mind will see it as such. A perfect picture, in fat, is so important that we go through hours of preparations to ensure that that permanent memory of our existence is true to how we would see it in person. Celebrities, president candidates, high school graduates, they all go through pain staking effort to assure their image shown to the publics scrutinizing eye is clean and polished and embodies who they are, if that is taken in any ill fashion, their reputation is tarnished.
    In conclusion, after viewing the series of videos, it is truly fascinating how one little one dollar camera, had such a major effect on the culture of today. Because of it pictures mean so much more today, and are so much easier to have at our disposal. It was truly a blessing and I am very glad that this little machine was simplified to become ore available

  23. Jackie Duncan

    In this day and age, we are constantly surrounded by images that memorialize and define a moment in time. Photography gives us the means with which to share our lives with the rest of the world. Whether we realize it or not, still pictures become embedded in our minds. Capturing a moment in as little as 1/125th of a second makes a moment completely real and permanent as long as the picture can be viewed. When we press the shutter button, we may not realize the importance of the images captured. Photographs make moments real and everlasting, they show the reality of the world, evoke emotion, and inspire people to act on something and make a change. Portraits are fundamental to how we view an era.

    Photography can easily promote, or distort the direction of a political campaign. Politicians use portraits of their opponents to make them seem ominous or less reliable. Many of the pictures can be found in black and white, which may make a person look less relatable. Political photography is often very staged. In order to ensure a political candidate looks his or her best, photographs are carefully planned so that they evoke the correct tone.

    What was most interesting to me after watching American Photography, was watching how a single photograph could inspire so many people to make a huge change in the world. Since the Brownie camera was created, photography became very convenient. From housing reform, education, and child labor laws to revealing the truth behind government censorship, pictures have had the power to advocated drastic social change, and that’s what struck me most in the videos

  24. Maddie Keyes-Levine

    “Photography is truth.” -Jean-Luc Godard. Photography can reveal and document truth, but is this always true? It can accurately capture things that happen, but can you actually accept a fraction of a second as truth? Pictures are excellent at recording life, but judgment and explanation is needed when viewing photographs. This goes along with how easily photographs can be created and manipulated these days. Cameras these days are inexpensive and easy to use which leads to a tremendously large number of photographs produced. This has both advantages and disadvantages.
    Some advantages are that the world can be easily documented by numerous people. These pictures can be easily shared and spread around the world and this is helpful in spreading culture, documenting history, and entertainment. Pictures can be informative, entertaining, and inspiring. All of these are positives that go along with the easiness of today’s photography, but they are just as many negatives as well. The world can be documented, but it will not always be accurate. You cannot say that because of one unflattering picture of someone, that they are unattractive. Photographs can also be manipulated to alter truth. Photoshop allows people to change so much, so easily that many it makes it hard to trust any photographs as truth.
    It is photographers’ responsibility to not pass distorted pictures as truth, but also the viewers’ job to be reasonable and use common sense with what they believe. People say, “seeing is believing”, but with the new technology, that is now longer always true. It should be “seeing is believing, sometimes, if what you’re seeing is an unedited photograph and even then you might not want to believe it”.
    Photography has it’s pros and cons, but it all comes back to viewers using common sense and being cautious in what they believe and photographers being responsible in how they photograph the world.

  25. Morgen Peterson

    Photography is an art like no other. It’s important because it is like a time capsule. It is a recording of an event, at its place and time. Once the picture has been taken it is then history. Since the Brownie camera was invented in 1900 photography has been used by the majority of Americans for all types of reasons. The biggest reason photography is so imperative is because it’s visual evidence, nobody can deny something happened if they had seen it in a photograph. This is what I believe shaped the world in many ways.
    Countless events have happened in America that shouldn’t have and photography was used to show how bad things really were. The picture of Emmet Till, a black boy who was murdered for whistling at a white women in 1995 has impacted me to the highest degree. In the picture he doesn’t have a face, it’s distorted to the point I was embarrassed for seeing that a human being could and did do that to another human. I think that it had to of made an impact on the people of that time, it made an impact on me, 55 years later when black and white segregation mostly doesn’t occur.
    Photographs are taken for political reasons as well. More often than not they aren’t pleasing images and are shot in black and white, not color. This is because color images are generally more vivacious and make the scene clear as day, where as black and white images are more dreary and the viewer has to visualize what the color really was like in the photograph. Furthermore, political photographs taken in color seem to be the positive side of the campaign, but the black and white photos seem like the people are liars, they change their minds and don’t know what they want, they are wrong for the position in which they are trying to obtain.
    All in all, photography has made a great impact in the world. Just think about how there used to be child laborers, black and white segregation, genocide of Jews, all of these things were shown to the world in photographs, they changed the world for the better.

  26. Megan Pratt

    Photography is a much loved, creative, and enjoyable form of art. The ability to capture a moment in a split second is mind blowing. Memories are no longer just a piece of our mind, but a piece of this world. Memories are recorded and kept forever. Photographs are very valuable in all aspects of life. They can be used as proof of just about anything. They can make you laugh and cry. They document history. They can make a person. Photography is very important to culture and the world and always will be.

    When photography was first invented, it was a costly and timely process. Most families could not afford to take pictures more than once a year. Since it took such a large amount of time to take a picture, most people featured in photographs were not smiling. When, the Brownie was invented, photography was changed forever. The Brownie was a small and portable camera that took pictures quickly. Now, people were taking pictures of just about everything. So many memories were captured and kept forever. In the future, we will be able to look back in time and learn about our ancestors and the world. Photographs create our imagination in some cases and they shape the way we view the world and it’s past.

    Photography is very useful when it comes to recording our world’s history. Photos document events such as elections and wars. Our text books are filled with countless photographs of politicians, presidents, monarchs, wars, and many other events. Simply turning a photograph black and white can make an image have more meaning. It can make the photo more grim which is useful for wars. Color photos on the other hand, are more bright and happy. Photos can even persuade people’s opinions. As we have seen in past wars, photographs were used in propaganda. They swayed people’s opinions on who they should support in the war. Photography will always have a large influence on us and change the way we see things.

    Photography has had a very large impact on the world. It has allowed people to see the places they will never be able to go to. As for those who do travel, photographs are useful in choosing a place to go. Photographs have also displayed many different cultures. People can learn all about the world just by looking at a photograph. Photos can expose truths and deceive minds. Photos can even capture moments the naked eye is unable to see. Cameras capture everything around them when on the right settings and we can see past our own vision. This is quite useful for things such as science.

    Photography is quite a marvelous subject. Being able to record the world and it’s events is very useful. Clearly, photography is very useful in just about every aspect of life. Photos may be able to be manipulated, but they can still capture the essence of a person. They can capture a moment in just a split second. Photography will always be important in our time.

  27. Aysen Tan

    Photography, from its advent in the 1800s, has always held a mystifying allure to its viewers. The picture holds the clout to serve time-capsules of the now “ancient” past, but the informal discovery of how a simple image can reach the profound and protected depths of the heart where no speech, or any other external influence can go, truly defined the inner aptitude of photography as an art form. Photographers have, and will forever continue to use this power of the image. With a bit of patience and an idea, the common picture can be turned into a true and wholesome art that persuades and perplexes, that proves and validates, that inspires and moves, and that informs the world of horrifying wrongs and the glorious triumphs that society has committed and achieved.
    The minute length of time the shutter of a camera is opened is short. A quick shutter speed, like 1/250th of a second, may seem small and insignificant, but it’s actually a piece of eternity. Whatever happened in that 1/250th of a second can never be exactly repeated again. This image, providing it is kept safe, is a record of what occurred, a treasure or a curse, a tiny slice of the large pie of infinity. When politicians begin their ever-infamous advertising come campaign season, their ads always tend to be warm and fluffy at the start, focusing on the positive and what they are planning to do for a brighter future. But as the months roll on to culminate on November 4th, these same politicians now proceed into a full, mud-slinging battle-royal, accusing and humiliating their opponents with catchy phrases, astonishing figures, and shocking claims. But underneath all this are the images they use. A black and white, old school candid image of the rival frowning and epitomizing the very names and ideas the politician wants you to associate with them. Followed by the beaming, smartly dressed politician sporting a welcoming gesture and an expression full of benevolence and optimism in vibrant color. The politicians have manipulated photography by showing their opponents in a dark and gloomy monochrome with a not-so-warm expression, sparking discontent and disdain from the voter, while the latter photograph is of a politician all smiles, in full color, emitting a sensation of elation and harmony compared to the former.
    After viewing the film American Photography, I found the most captivating part in the Vietnam War photos and commentary. I am half-Vietnamese and my grandfather was a high-ranking military officer and politician for the South. Although he made a pact with his fellow comrades and government officials to never leave even if the Northerners succeeded in taking the capital, Saigon, my grandfather decided to leave Vietnam for the United States out of love for the protection of his family. He left with his mother, wife, daughter and three sons, one of them being my seven year-old father. Two days later, Saigon fell to the Northern communists. The government officers with whom he had made a promise with, were murdered along with their families. While watching the horrifying pictures, I couldn’t imagine my dad growing up in that kind of environment and the many mental scars it must have left. Without photographs, the world may have never known what kind of war they were supporting and the damage that was done.

  28. Alicia Salinas

    Photography is an invaluable tool in the world. It preserves a fraction of a second, conjures up memories, and is truly an art form. When we go somewhere, we want something to bring back, to remind us what happened, who we saw,what we did, and to show all that to others who were not with us. It can show the beauty of an exotic country, or the stark reality of everyday life. It’s evidence of what happened in the past. When there’s a photograph of it, we believe that is exists.

    While a photograph may only be 1/250 of a second of life, but that’s all that we need. Life flies by, and the camera needs to be fast enough to catch it. If the exposure was an entire second, the picture would blur, and nothing could be discerned. That 1/250 of a second is fast, and because of that we can make out what’s happening without having to see through the blur. It may seem as though this fragment of a second is too short to prove anything, as the saying goes “a picture’s worth a thousand words.”

    But not everyone takes a picture with the hope of capturing something flattering. People love pictures that seem to dehumanize the subject. An excellent example being with politicians and celebrities. With the world of celebrities, we don’t want boring everyday life, we want something shocking, something scandalous. And every politician loves an awful picture of the opponent. Especially when the photos are in black in white. The black and white coloring is stark, and can take some of the life out of the subject. It seems more harsh and less human then brightly colored pictures that make the subject seem more real.

  29. Tre Barber

    Photography is something that will always be important to history. It has been since it was invented, and it will continue to be, probably forever. It captures memories, events, history, art, happiness, depression, and so much more. Photography is important because it has the ability to prove something more than words can describe.
    When you have a photo of something it’s like your own proof of something to back up what you’re saying. As it was stated in the video, people don’t believe things nowadays unless the photographic evidence. Photography has transformed the way people think. The only way to have proof of anything is with a picture of it. That’s just the way photography has transformed the world. Photography is important because it does so many things for the world. Photography shows people things they’ve never seen, things they don’t want to see, things they like. Shape peoples opinions, change their way of thinking, change people’s lives. Photography makes us perceive things in an entire different way than print or words could.
    Although photography is an incredible thing, it is not always used in a positive manner. People can retouch or edit photos and turn them into something negative. They can be used to manipulate people’s opinions on things. For example when politicians use pictures of their opponents they sometimes use unattractive or unpleasant photos to shape peoples opinions. This is an example of how people use photography to form people’s ideas, whether there good or bad. If they see a politician who looks rather cold and uninviting, they would be less likely to vote for them because they would have a negative image of them in their head. Or people could use black and white images to make people seem more negative, dull and cold, literally colorless, lacking life or feelings.
    My favorite part of American Photography was learning about the brownie camera and about Rudolph Valentino. The brownie was interesting because I had never heard of it. I never even knew it existed. It was interesting to know that it was like the whole spark of the photographic revolution. I also like learning about Rudolph Valentino because he was someone I’ve never heard of. It was fascinating how he became so famous just because of his looks and just by people liking because of the photographs they had of him.

  30. Gabby Trainor

    Photography is one of the strongest arts in our culture. It is used in so many aspects of our lives that we would all be lost without it. It is vital to society; it can affect a person’s emotions, thoughts and motivations. Photos are a source to capture information, moments that will never be forgotten, and a moment in time exactly the way it was. Although photography is more available now I do not think that it makes it any less important. We tend to take it for granted but in the end we all realize what a wonderful tool we have available for us.

    The majority of photographs are made with an exposure of 1/250th of a second, although this can seem like an extremely insignificant moment of time, it could be the exact moment that something extraordinary happened. Most pictures can be used as proof even though it was just a fraction of a second, but more and more people are using photographs as false proof. People use that fraction of a second to make it look like something else was happening. This use of photography is not ethical and should be stopped. But because photography is so easily available to anyone, things like this are bound to happen with paparazzi and other non respectable photographers. Overall though, I think that a fraction of a second is the perfect way to capture pure memories. When you take a picture of family and friends when they are spontaneously laughing, that is true photography. That is why it is important for it to be available to everyone.

    Politicians use photography of their opponents to show them negatively and they rarely use flattering pictures. It is very easy to use a picture in this way but people fail to realize that pictures are believed and enjoyed so much more when the portray the truth. When pictures are in black and white verses color the viewer perceives it very differently. Black and white photos can be more serious but also they can be missing detail which is not always a bad thing, depending on what the photographer is trying to show.

    After watching the video, the most intriguing topic is about the pictures from Vietnam. It was really the first time that there were pictures of death and violence shown to the public. Pictures of people on fire, or crying or being shot really changed the way people saw the war and the way they viewed the people more affected by the war. I am the type of person to see a picture and cry, so it really interested me when they first started showing the public these horrific pictures. I imagine it was a huge shock and it started a revolution within the world of photography.

  31. Lizet Ruvalcaba

    Photography has come a long way since the 20th century when the Brownie camera debuted. Now in the 21st century everything in our society is digital. Before it was expensive and rare to have pictures taken, now photos are taken everywhere and many are taken everyday.
    There are pictures of everyday events like birthdays, accomplishments, pictures of family, business, advertisements, medical use with x-rays. Doctors use pictures to identify the patients problem and save a life. Photography also captures events that changed nations. For example, the Mexican Revolution, World Wars, discrimination, reality of everyday life. World war II came and it was a photographers dream to be in the front lines capturing it all. Also Edward Curtis was known for capturing the Native Americans, which people thought would disappear. Louise Hins captured child labor and tried to make a stop to it.
    During the World War, the newspaper would not allow pictures of a dead American to be shown. However, in the 1930s the true horrors of war was shown so people can face the truth. Pictures is a valuable tool because everyone would think that it showed the truth and believed it more than a drawing or even words in newspaper. The photo was the proof. It shown a moment in time that would mean a lot, from what was happening to what it led to. Like many people say “A picture is worth a thousand word.” This was true in everyday life, especially the photo essay, which people saw and they knew what the story was saying without reading a word.
    As the styles of living became important, photography was used to show how people were suppose to be like. The fashion industries would have slender models to show off their clothing. As well as how a family household should look like, with a housewife taking care of kids and the men at work. Everything was seen in pictures but in reality it was not perfect.
    In present day, we have changed pictures, they are mostly all manipulated to make them look better or in some cases worse. For example, in advertising a product the seller want to make the idem really stand out. To do this they would use computers. Politians also manipulate photos of their opponents. They would usually be in black and white to make it even more bad and look unappealing. If it were in color it might look the opposite.
    They story that stuck out to me the most was the one with Emmette Till. He was a fourteen year old African American boy who was accused of whistling to a white women. He was then beaten to death and his body was thrown in the river. There were two photos of him, one was of how he looked before and the other was after he was beaten with his face completely disfigures. It was shocking how racism was in the south and many people will always have that image in their minds.

  32. Andrew Livingston

    We have been using photographs for years. It would be a lot different if it weren’t for cameras. When the Brownie came out, it gave people the ability to take their own pictures. That’s when people started taking pictures of their families. People used to pay a lot of money to artists to paint a portrait of their family; the Brownie made a portrait possible by pressing a button. The Brownie allowed everyone to own a camera and take pictures…like cell phones with cameras today. The Brownie brought us snapshot photography and people started taking more informal pictures of everyday life. Ordinary people could have fun taking pictures.

    Photography has been a valuable tool since the beginning. It allows us to preserve great memories, records of accomplishments, and lets us have a visual record of our lives. Photos show us places in the world that we cannot go to and places that we dream about. Cameras were used to make art, at first to look like paintings and then became more abstract with shapes and forms. They can take something ordinary and make it beautiful. The photographer can frame an image and shoot it to be artistic.

    The most interesting thing about the movie to me was that photography changed the way people saw the world and what they believed. They replaced drawings in newspapers and ads. Photographs showed us some of the most important events in history. Pictures were used in newspapers to show us things we would never know about and can mobilize people to change something. Photos told the story of big conflicts and movements in America and around the world. Photographs were used to push for social change like child labor and poverty. They can capture something that goes right to your heart and make you want to do something to make a difference. They are also used to sell ideas like in political ads. People running for office try to use photos that make themselves look good and their opponent look bad. Photography made the world come alive and life would be very boring without it.

  33. Matt Zinik

    It’s hard to imagine a world without photos. We are so used to going on the net and viewing millions of pictures. You have a question about something and there is a picture of it online. But just a short while ago photos didn’t exist. When you think about it you haven’t really “seen” a whole lot of things just pictures of them. Yes you have seen pictures but without those you would never have the knowledge of what the Empire State Building looks like unless you have been there.
    Photography has changed the way we think and how we view the world. Photography shows us far off places, memorable moments and famous people and events all out of our normal everyday bubble. Photography has the ability to freeze any moment in time forever. Capturing the emotion of what is taking place. When looking at a photograph we are taken back to that very moment and assimilated into the very event. Photography is a tool that can warp our opinions and believes creating emotion out of nowhere. This can be used for good and bad. Political campaigns often use photos of their opponents in compromising situations to convey they are the better candidates. Many are in black and white because black and white gives a person a sinister look.
    My favorite topic in the American Photography programs were the war stories and the images that came out of the oversee conflicts. War is such an incredible thing and few people can ever experience it. War is important to know about and who and why we are fighting. Photography shows the horrors of war and the men and women who put their lives on the line should be honored.

  34. Alexa Sharp

    Photography is like super strength, it gives the user the power to change the world. A good picture can tell the most amazing story and have a very forceful effect. This is one of the most prominate reasons why photography is an excellent and valuable tool. A couple examples would be the pin-up girl picture and the dreadful picture of Emmett Till. Both these pictures had extremely dramatic effects and helped turn history for the good. It only takes 1/250th of a second to capture this stunning power. It doesn’t seem like anything could ever come from such a short amount of time, but its not time that makes the moment and some moments only last for a few seconds. The hindenburg crash proves this, the photographers who captured the horrible crash had only minutes if not seconds. Without their pictures we wouldn’t be able to understand the how extreme the crash really was.

    Photography can also create an impression of someone. Take Obama for example, the government uses his pictures to portray him as a great leader; his opponents use his pictures to make him seem insignificant, unhelpful, and irresponsible. Some of these images have been changed or altered the simplest being from color to black and white. The change to black in white can make a person seem more elegant or sometimes less life like. Most of the impressions these images make are lasting. The most interesting part of the American Photography video to me was the part about the National Geographic and how they started putting pictures in magazines, this was really inspirational and a awesome idea that has changed the way news is delivered.

  35. Dylan Falls

    Photography, being around as long as it has, has come a long way since the development of the Brownie camera. But as far as it has come, why is any of it important? How could the fragment of a second that it takes to take a picture be worth anything at all? I believe that the fragment of a second doesn’t matter but it’s the entire moments in which that fragment of a second take place. I believe that a picture captures the essence of an event and through that sliver of a second, shows the basis of that particular occurrence.

    But it may seem that, with so many pictures that are taken daily, that photography would lose at least a little bit of its meaning. But with so many events and so many styles of photography that with each passing day, photography just advances that much more. But a photograph loses meaning when a photo alteration program is brought into the equation. Today, a photo can be altered to mean anything anyone wants. So the assumption that a photo is the ultimate proof is kind of nullified. And if you’re going to have a piece of art from a photographic medium, when there shouldn’t have to be any real work done on the photo to make it better.

    So does only a sliver of a second matter? Well yes and no. Yes because the sliver is a representation of a moment in time that no one can relive except threw that picture. No because the sliver of a second is only the begging of a whole story that one picture has to tell. As for photography as a whole, there doesn’t look like there will be any stopping this powerful medium.

  36. Lauren Parrino

    Photography is one of the world’s greatest inventions. It has changed the world we live in today and, honestly, I can’t imagine what our society would be like without it. We take the everyday photograph for granted and don’t appreciate the camera as much as we could.

    When the Brownie camera first came out my Great Grandma Minty took a picture of everything – and I really do mean everything. She took the opportunity to remember the every day moments, such as my Great Grandpa Bud resting on his favorite lawn chair on the front porch or her grandkids sitting on the back seat of the family buggy. After each photo she took, she’d write a caption on the back. She took really good care of her photos, which explains why I still have them today. I spend hours looking at the black and white photos; my favorites include a photo of my Great Grandma when she was my age in 1930.

    Photographs are addicting because they bring us tangible worlds, peoples and cultures that we thought never existed. It’s fashionable. Artistic. Cultural. Publishers like National Magazine and LIFE captured these elements, that’s why they’re so popular.

    When we think about a second, we think of the thin red hand on a clock. Usually, we don’t think that the 1/250th of a second is used to represent an entire moment. We don’t think that it instills a single moment in history, never to be forgotten or erased. There is the never ending debate on whether or not a photograph is able to tell the truth and that is may mislead viewers. I believe that this argument is irrelevant: a photograph is a photograph. It presents a story, a person, place or event. It is what it is and 1/250th of a second is there to show us what is in the frame. What would the Hindenburg Disaster be without those three famous photographs? Three images that the photographer captured within 47 seconds?

    Today of course the photograph means many different things and we use them for many different reasons. Politicians have harnessed the power of the photograph against their opponents. Using black and white in photographs diminishes the opponents’ image, makes their reputation look bad and policies inferior. If they were in color the image would be more powerful and would appeal stronger to the viewer.

    After watching the video, “American Photography”, I cannot choose the “most interesting part of it”. I suppose I was simply intrigued in watching photography develop over the years, seeing the way the photograph has changed. That by itself was interesting and therefore I suppose I cannot choose one specific era in American history where I enjoyed it most.

    No matter what the photograph is used for or how it is taken, it will always be a powerful tool in our society. The actual power of the photograph will never fade and will never be outdated. The camera will be there to capture the breaking news, culture, entertainment, and those “once-in-a-lifetime” moments.

  37. Halie Silbert

    “Photography; a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” Quoted Ansel Adams, he is just breaking the tip of the iceberg of what photography really is. Photography is like freezing time and saving that moment forever. Pictures pull at the strings of the heart; they can trigger joy, fear, sadness, and memories. Photography is a tool that anyone can access and manipulate to however they what, in photography a quick angle change and a slight light adjustment can change the whole feeling of the picture. Although photography can shed light on the world and bring an array of colorful emotions to us, it can be used for bad.
    In 1/250th of a second anything can be caught with the lens of a camera, a birth, death, or someone blowing out their birthday candles. But in this fragment of a second, if the picture is flattering and embarrassing it stays that way for life, having an effect on how people may view you. Politian’s use this for their benefit in campaigns. They have unattractive pictures mostly in black and white of their opponents. Black and white causes them seem bad. Photos of criminal are most often taken in black and white, creating an unconscious link to them a bad. As well as the facts that black and white are boring and we are not normally drawn to these bland colors. The colors that pop for us and draw our attention are bright, vibrant, contrasting colors. This is an unfair tactic used by almost every Politian. A couple other examples are when people use black mail, and paparazzi harassing people at all hour looking for them to mess up, both are unfair tactics used to sway opinions of people or subjects.
    Watching the film on American Photograph, it made me realize just how lucky we are to have and photography does indeed have its downfalls. I believe that the benefits of photography by far outweigh the downsides. Photography exposes truth and the things we are too afraid to see in person, something that before could only before be described by in words, but now there is evidence. One just has to be careful and see past any bias the photographer had. Photography brings life into art.

  38. Kera Knight

    Photography is a very important part of our lives, it is everywhere. It captures the most significant moments. Just that one split second of having your camera out and taking a picture could change the world. Moments that people want to savor forever are caught on camera and can be framed, e-mailed, blown up, posted online, pretty much anything you want to do with it, you can. Photographers think of photography as an art, capturing the beauty in something that might not have been beautiful before or taking a picture at a certain angle to make it look interesting. There are many different ways to create art in a photograph. Photographs can influence people all over the world, it is used to help stop starvation and help the poor, it helped stop child labor, it is used to symbolize peace, and it shows the victories and failures of our country.
    Images that politicians use for their opponents are not flattering. They want to make their opponent look bad so that they’ll look better and get more votes. Most are in black and white because it is dull and colorless. They do not want to flatter their opponent so bringing the color out of a shot could be one way of doing that. In other cases, black and white can enhance the beauty of a shot but that is not the goal in the case of politicians, they only dull out the image and make it look dead. If the image were in color, it would give it warmth, show more detail and bring the picture alive. A picture of the opponent in color would be more flattering than in black and white.
    The most intriguing story in American Photography was how pictures began to be able to be sent trough wire. The first picture was sent in through wire on January 1st 1935, it showed up in 25 different cities. It amazes me how a picture taken from a camera can be seen by people all over the world through our technology. Technology has come a long way from the beginning and when photos were able to be sent trough wire, it was a big step. From then on people knew what was happening around the world and could be better informed about events in different countries .

  39. Adam Braver

    The invention of the camera, primarily starting with the Kodak Brownie camera, is undoubtedly one of the most innovative devices ever created. It changed not only the way people viewed themselves, but also the way America viewed itself. Moments of time could now be captured eventually within the flash of a second and could be seen very quickly. It showed Americans more perspectives on the lives of people around the world and the events that were occurring as well. Americans could now see other cultures, and thus the wall of insolence was broken down a great step further with the camera. In fact, if the camera were ever taken back in time to past civilizations, it would obviously be seen as a magical, mythical item. In modern day society, that assumption has been made reality as well as a part of the everyday life for the American people.
    All amazing and successful inventions have had both positive and negative consequences for its consumers, and the same should be said for the camera. Before the Brownie, pictures were taken only about twice an American’s lifetime, and drawn portraits of people were commonly accepted to prove their identities. But when the Brownie, the first mass produced and inexpensive camera was released, it proved to be a gargantuan success. Since then, photos have provided people with many benefactors. For instance, photos could capture pictures of crime scenes and be shown as absolute proof in the professions of criminal justice and law. It could permanently capture important events in time, such as the capture of Iwo Jima in World War 2, so they would never be forgotten. Unfortunately, malevolent side effects also occurred with the production of the camera. The rise in fear of a Big Brother-shaped society came about due to the fact that cameras could always watch your every move and diminish your privacy. They were also used and are still used today for great deals of propaganda, spreading rumors and conspiracies like never before.
    An extraordinary accomplishment was achieved among the camera: that was the ability of the silver second. It took photos so quickly that people’s expressions could be caught and looked at as a form of art. Sorrow, rage, joy, and surprise could now be captured perfectly. Yet although the camera is an amazing tool in our modern day society, it is also a tool of propaganda and politics. Various pictures of presidents and senators have been taken and looked upon in a despicable light. Just as the videos explained, the camera can useful and brilliant, yet also deadly.

  40. Lucas Holifield

    Photography is unique in that it describes an occurrence better than anything else can. Photographs convey emotion and provide many specific details that would otherwise go overlooked. The sentence “children are being overworked in factories, and many are dying because of it,” carries far less weight that actual pictures of the children, struggling to complete dangerous jobs they aren’t qualified for. It’s much different to say “there are starving children in Africa,” than it is to show a picture of an African child sitting in his mother’s lap, both of them close to starvation, their hunger clearly visible. The emotional affect felt by seeing the pain in their faces is incomparable to any sentence.

    Pictures may just be 1/250th of a second, but that slim fraction captures subtleties that the human eye cannot. We have time to analyze every intricacy of a person’s expression, see the glint in their eye or the furrow in their brow. Politicians use this to their advantage often, choosing a fraction of a second that makes their opponent appear rude or cruel or otherwise unfavorable. The images are often in black and white, as color provides a human element that they do not want to associate with their rival. Black and white can often make a person seem more distant.

    One of the most intriguing points in the film was the segment on the Hindenburg. It’s fascinating to think about how, even though only three pictures were able to be taken during the crash, how universally recognized those shots have become. Photography is so widely used and taken for granted nowadays, it’s interesting to think about times when it wasn’t so readily available, and each picture was a treasure.

  41. Xochilth Arias

    Photographers were able to capture a moment in time and share it with the world. Photographs cause people to feel emotions that they would not normally feel just with words. The public feels love, joy, sadness, envy, and hate just by looking at a photograph. It is not an easy thing to explain; why a photograph makes a stronger impact than just words. It is probably because a photograph make the event more real; a greater truth that just the written word.
    But why is it when a split second in time is captured, it is such trustworthy proof for the public? Why can one photo capture an entire event? It can not, but the public likes to believe so. The photograph is always the most “exciting” part of the event that was captured for the public, so they hear about what happened and they see one photograph, and they are able to put the story together themselves. A moment in time is all the public needs; it is all they can withstand paying attention to.
    A captured moment of time creates an image for an individual, an image that is engraved into the minds of the public. It can be flattering or embarrassing. Just like the photographs that are used by politicians against their opponents. They are unflattering and usually in black and white to cause an affect of detachment from the public and give them a cold personality.

  42. Wil Anthony

    “Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” Ansel Adams along with many others uses photography as a way to preserve and portray a fragment of life. This fragment of life can display a vast array of emotions from anger and sorrow to happiness and love. However, unlike drawing, photography most accurately depicts the world in which it is viewed on a regular basis. With today’s modern technology photography is in everyone’s hands. The majority of the population uses photography, including the wealthy as well as people less fortunate. Subtle adjustments in photography can sway the opinion of the viewer anyway the photographer pleases.

    Although this may seem beneficial to some photographers, it creates controversial opinions amongst many viewers. Many observers question the media for allowing this much power in the hands of photographers. An example of this would be David Kennelly’s photo of Dick Cheney preparing a meal with his family. The photo was cropped and manipulated to make him appear evil. This picture was published in Newsweek magazine for all to see; therefore it may have publicly created an unfair bias against Cheney. Whether he is evil or not, the photo still remains unethical. People will always try to persuade their audiences in a certain direction but this is only fair up to a certain point. Corporations such as Newsweek should take into higher consideration that with the use of Photoshop nearly anything is possible. Photoshop is best used to improve what already was, not to impose your bias and crooked perversion of people undergoing everyday life.

    Photographers like Robert Capa have traveled across oceans and put their lives on the line to capture the essence of something as horrific as war. When people saw his pictures they were forever changed and had a completely different perspective on the war. It is people such as Robert Capa that have the right to have their pictures published in Newsweek or Time magazine. Photography is a wonderful way to capture the immense world in which we live solely by portraying raw and provocative pictures.

  43. Elyse DeLara

    Photography has been a big part of history. Capturing a moment in the 1800’s was a big process, but when the Kodak Brownie came out it made it a lot simpler for people to use cameras and take photos. Before the Brownie was invented poor or middle class people only go there picture taken maybe twice in their life, but know as the years go on and new technology is being developed people take picture every day. Photography is important to people because some photos represent a time and moment were there was sadness, joy, fear, anger, confusion. Photos also help people remember what it was like as a child, or how they felt when their child was born. One photo can define an entire century.

    Photos aren’t just being used to express feelings but to document serious issues to. During the industrial revolution, there were photographers taking pictures of people working in mines, working in terrible factories, and taking picture of child labor. One photographer took so many sad but truthful pictures of child labor, that they band child labor. Seeing the emotions on these children’s face was enough to make people realize just that they had been doing. Also, pictures could be used as proof of anything really. Many photos are taken in crime scene as proof, proof that someone had died, proof of a car accident, etc. In government politicians take pictures of themselves and their opponent. These photos can either boost someone up or tear them down. I think why so many picture of politicians are shot in black and white is because it only represent two sided. If you think of things as black and white you only see right and wrong. You don’t see a compromise or another way of living. Now to me, when you see a politician in a colored picture it seems to chow them as more open minded. Often times when a politician’s want you to vote for them they will make an ad about their opponent. These ads will tell you everything wrong with your opponent or what they did wrong. Politicians also want to tear down there opponent as much as they can so they might edit their opponents picture n a bad way and make them look bad.

    What intrigued me the most about the movie, American Photography was the photos of the child labor and the fashion section. With the child labor part, I felt a rush of sadness when I to look at those pictures of those miserable children. They were so dirty and young; when I looked at them I just saw my nephew and cousins working in tight cramped areas down in the coal mines. These children were practically babies and working in mines was all they were taught to do. Now with the fashion section, was more glamorous and elegant. It showed people in a new light, but there were down sided to fashion. In these magazines with families and young women, it showed a way you were “supposed” to be. Families were everyone is happy and everyone has a smile on their face. Photography was and still is an important factor in our culture.

  44. Natalie Wongwananurat

    Photography has continuously been significant to our society. We all use photography daily. People use photography in fashion, politics, advertisements, education and etc. If we did not have photography today, imagine how much we would lose. We would lose the knowledge of knowing what the other parts of the world looks like. Sure, there are paintings and descriptions, but pictures are proof. Pictures make you feel like you are there to see places for yourself, places that you cannot go to.
    It is imperative for us to have photography today, whether it’s for business or personal reasons. Newspapers use photography all the time to for proof. Images also keep people attentive, they like seeing visual rather than reading long articles. We use photography to document moments in our lives that we don’t want to forget. We know what history looks like because of photography, we could only imagine if we did not have any proof of what actually happened in the past. Photography gave us proof of despicable things like the holocaust and racism going on back then. There were pictures of a great deal of deceased people due to the holocaust, there were also pictures of wars and other important historic moments. Photography is very important to our world, and we sometimes take it for granted.
    Capturing a specific moment can “freeze” time. Once you push the button to take a picture, you have captured that exact moment in a lifetime. Since you cannot re-experience your life, pictures captures our best and worst moments in life. The majority of photographs are made with an exposure of a fraction of a second. This sliver of a second can act as proof of a positive or negative thing and it should not be taken lightly because it can build up or break down someone’s careers, relationships, or reputation.
    A fragment of a second creates an image of a person and how we perceive them, both flattering and embarrassing. The images used by politicians for their opponents are never flattering, then again why would they be? The politicians want others to perceive that their opponents are bad, giving them a looming appearance. That is why most pictures of the opponents are in black and white. Black and white pictures are sometimes considering dull and boring. Politicians want people to think that their opponents are unconfident, not fit to rule, and other negative ideas. The politicians don’t use black and white pictures of themselves because want their own pictures to perceive them as someone who is powerful, someone who is confident and a good leader.
    After watching the film, the invention of the Kodak Brownie camera in 1900 was the most intriguing. Before the invention, photography was a challenging thing to do. There were only portraits of families and “perfect” pictures. After the invention of the Brownie Camera, more people became interested in photography. Many people took photography as a hobby since it was very affordable. There were more “imperfect” pictures that captured real life. People began to capture real life moments, even though it is not professional pictures. This is why the Brownie camera was the most intriguing thing to me. We have pictures of how life was back then, of real people living their lives daily. In my opinion, without photography we would not be where we are today. Photography helps us progress not just with Science and technologies, but as a human being as well. Photography helps us learn from our mistakes, and shows us proof of something incorrect or injustice so we don’t do it in the future.

  45. Christopher Myers

    Photography has changed the way society view the world and their actions. Since the Brownie camera came out, more people were able to take snapshots of their life and see other parts of the globe as it really were, rather than relying on drawings. Photography helped pave the path towards change in a society where child labor was common and slavery was rampant. If it weren’t for the ability to capture moments in time, the world as we know it would be very different today.

    The sliver of a second needed to take a picture of something may not always necessarily capture the whole story behind the scene but can be utilized as a tool to at least preserve what one remembered or felt from it. We are able to capture the emotions in the facial expressions of people in photos and draw our own conclusions of what is going on by examining the scene. Like all tools, things can be used for good or evil, especially in politics. Politicians sacrifice their privacy and are at the mercy of the media when it comes to publicity. This is especially true of news organizations like FOX or CNN. These broadcasting companies are able to manipulate the photos of politicians to convey their bias. This can be seen in black and white pictures, where viewers would most likely judge the people in them as bland or two sided. In colored pictures, depending on the tone of the colors, one can see them as a warm or cold person.

    The most intriguing part of the film was how much effect the photos through time have had on society. It promoted anti-war sentiments and civil rights, as well as the abolishment of child labor. And despite most of the pictures being destroyed, the picture of Iwo Jima was still able to make a powerful statement on the meaning of war.

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