definition of photography

The term photography comes from the Greek and means "to design or write with light." We call photography the process of capturing images using a light-sensitive technological device, which is based on the principle of the camera obscura. The original photography system that was maintained until a few years ago worked with sensitive films in order to store the captured image and then print it. More recently, digital systems with sensors and memories are used to take photos more easily, quickly and with better results.

The history of this technology has various references that accompanied the study of the different techniques that led to what today we commonly call photography, but which was initially called daguerreotype.

On the one hand, photography has a purpose directly scientific, to the extent that its infinite possibilities allow the study of objects that can hardly be analyzed in the same way with the naked eye and in a single instant. For example, there is aerial or orbital photography to capture images of the earth's surface. In the same way, infrared or ultraviolet photography contributes to the study of images that cannot be captured by human sight. In this sense, thermal photographs are a clear practical example, which also contribute to the differentiation of different characteristics of the environment.

Likewise, photomicrography represents a formidable tool for diagnosis in the health sciences. Many conditions and diseases of the most varied natures (tumor, inflammatory, infectious, autoimmune) can only be confirmed by microscopic evaluation, with special stains that are rescued in the photograph. This resource allowed the improvement of an entire specialty (pathological anatomy), the birth of a new medical science (telepathology) and the optimization of forensic medicine.

Similarly, diagnostic imaging has constituted a revolution in which photography plays an important role. It would be impossible to conceive of computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging without analog or digital photography as support partners for professional practice and for medico-legal reinsurance.

But photography also has a purely side artistic and aesthetic, which understands the capture of images as the preservation of a single moment from the combination of various elements such as framing, composition, lighting and others. Even with the incorporation of digital photography, a new era in image production has been born, which not only allows more sophisticated capture methods, but also wide possibilities for editing and refining once the photo is stored. Thus, photographic art is an undeniable component of image editing, currently growing with the spread of digital media. Seminars, exhibitions and even conferences are even available in connection with this relatively recent form of artistic activity, which has grown in popularity over the years.

On the other hand, various uses of the social photography they include it in other disciplines, such as journalism. In the history of this practice, photography has been a great ally in the true reproduction of historical and journalistic events, serving as a source of information and also as an enormous complement of emotional impact. It is practically impossible to conceive of modern journalism without the support of photography as a fundamental resource. Despite the fact that the Internet has given rise to a very wide accessibility to other audiovisual media, among which video stands out with its multiple formats, photography is still a method that is unparalleled in journalistic practice.

In this sense, social networks allow the growth of photography in all its splendor, by contributing to the rapid dissemination ("viralization") of images among friends and acquaintances. Networks such as Facebook or Twitter are cardinal engines for photography to continue being one of the technological parameters that have modified the life of humanity over the last decades.

Finally, photography also fulfills a marked emotional role, since it constitutes a way to remember events from the past that are captured in tangible or digital media for their remembrance. This variable is especially useful to stimulate memory in people with difficulties in this function or simply for entertainment with friends and family.

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