A photograph sometimes captures what our eyes fail to see. It is a form of storytelling from the gaze of the photographer and sometimes, they hold enough power to create history. The journey of the camera from an obscura to the handycam has been great.
The camera obscura used to be a big black box like a room, with a small hole on one side of the box, through which an inverted image used to be projected on the opposite side of the wall.
According to researchers, earlier known written notes of camera obscura were provided by Chinese philosopher Mo-Tzu in 400 BC. Later on, based on those notes, obscura was invented in the 11th century by Alhazen who was a scientist, astronomer, philosopher, and mathematician.
After capturing, printing a photograph was a big task behind which a lot of scientific knowledge went. Thomas Wedgwood was said to be the first person who experimented to print out the image but his experiments were fruitless. Afterward, Joseph Nicephorus Niepce, a French inventor, succeeded in getting negative images out by using paper coated with silver chloride.
With a blend of science and creativity, photography has become an interesting subject.
During the world wars, photojournalism evolved rapidly. Smaller cameras and film formats were used which helped in producing images quickly under difficult light.
Cameras in India came in the mid 19th century, courtesy of British rule. This new invention coming to India was not more of an advantage as Britishers used it to keep control over colonial states. With the flow of time, the concept of using the camera was changed over time in India. At the end of the 19th century, more and more Indian photographers were coming up with their work.
The voyage of photography in India started with Homai Vyarawalla, the first photographer of India. She is also India's first women photojournalist and is mostly known for capturing the country's transformation from British rule to independent India. She was born on 9th December in 1913 in Gujarat. She captured some of the most important stories of India, from our country getting free to the funeral of former president Jawaharlal Nehru and even Mahatma Gandhi.
The photographs of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre express the pain of victims who suffered and lost their lives. This incident took place in Amritsar, Punjab on April 13 in 1919, where British troops fired hundreds of Indians indiscriminately and this led to hatred between Indo-British relations. A total of 379 people died and more than 1200 people were wounded.
This is one of the rarest images of the Indian Mughal emperor – Bahadur Shah Zafar, who also was the last Mughal emperor of India.
This is a beautiful photo of Mother Teresa, the epitome of kindness. It was taken by Raghu Rai, one of the most famous Indian photojournalists. In 1971, he was awarded the Padma Shri award.
This bird photo, captured by Rathika Ramasamy who is an Indian wildlife photographer, was featured in the annual calendar of Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2007.
These photographs and many more photographs like these are a testament to the important role that photography has played in recording some of the most important historical events. Photographs have always been and will always be one of the most prominent sources of storytelling and preserving history.
Today, on the occasion of World Photography Day, we express our gratitude to the art of photography.