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The word “photography” was derived from the two Greek words, photo and graphein. Photo means light while Graphein means draw. Nicephor Niepce in the past, made use of “heliography” and “‘sun drawing” till Sir Herschel brought in the advent of photography in 1839. Tejuoso(2013).

One of the most important thing to note is that photograph as a concept has undisputable roles to play in every field due to its recording purpose. People make references to past scenes because there are photographs to show as evidence; however this is done with the help of photograph.


The history of photography has roots in remote antiquity with the discovery of principle of the camera obscura and the observation that some substances are visibly altered by exposure to light. As far as is known nobody thought of bringing these two phenomena together to capture camera images in permanent form until around 1800, when Thomas Wedgewood made the first reliable document, although unsuccessful attempt. In mid -1820s, Nicephore Niepee succeeded, but several days of exposure in the camera where required and the earliest result were very crude. Niepce’s associate Louis Daguerre went on to develop the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced photographic process which required only minutes of exposure in the camera and produced clear, finely detailed result. It was commercially introduced in 1839, a day generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography.

The metal based daguerreotype process soon had some competition from the paper based calotype negative and salt print process invented by Henry Fox Talbok. Subsequent innovations reduced the required camera exposure time from minutes to seconds and eventually to a small fraction of a second, introduced new photographic media which were more economical, sensitive or convenient, including roll films for casual use by amateurs; and made it possible to take pictures in natural colors as well as in black and white.

The commercial introduction of computer based electronic digital cameras in the 1990s soon revolutionized photography during the first decade of the 21st century, traditional film based photochemical method were increasingly marginalized as the practical advantages of the new technology became widely appreciated and the image quality of moderately priced digital cameras were continually improved.

The coining of the word “photography” has been attributed in 1839 to Sir John Horschel based on the Greek word [phos], [genitive: photos] meaning “light”, and [grapher] meaning “drawing”, “writing” together meaning “drawing with light’;


Photography is the result of combining several different technical discoveries. Long before the first photograph were made Chinese philosopher Moti and Greek mathematician invented a Pinhole camera in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. In the 6n century CB, Byzantine mathematician, Anthemins of Tralles used a type of camera obscura in his experiments. Ibn al-Haythan [Alhazen] (1965) in Basra-C 1040 in Cairo] studied the camera obscura and pinhole camera Albertus Magnus discovered silver nitrate, and George Fabricus (1516-71) discovered silver chloride. Daniel Barbara desk ribed a diaphragm in 1568. According to Wilhem Homberg light darkened some chemical [photochemical effects]in 1694. The novel Giphantie (by the French Tiphaigne De la Roche, 1729-74) described what could be interpreted as philosophy of photography.

Michael Moon in his contribution to history of photography added that photography inception can be traced back to time immemorial, when some women in some part of Africa went on tour to catch fun at the riverine area. According to him when they got back from the river and they saw their reflection on water, they were astonished and took to their heels. Michael Moon however, concluded that photography began from there.

Conclusively, before photography was created, people already knew the principle of how it eventually got to work. They could process the image on the wall or piece of paper, however no printing was possible at that time as reserving light turned out to be a lot harder task than projecting it. The instrument that people used for processing pictures was called the camera obscura(which in Latin for dark room) and it was around for a few centuries before photography eame alonsz,.


That photography had been in existence even before some other technological devices is something (.indisputable and factual because it inception can be traced back to time immemorial.


Beaumont Newhall, one of the world’s most celebrated philosophers once said that:

“Photography is at once a science and an art and both aspect are inseparably linked. Though it astonishing rise from a substantive form of skill of hand to an independence form”.

Several other scholarly efforts has graced the quest for inferring definitions of photography-based on their understanding of the concept. Ralph Halterlly (1982:36) contributed that: study-aesthetic of photography and techniques in terms of aesthetics, and arrived at photography deserving to be called art and a personal life thing. Aesthetics describes the proper ends of photography arts techniques provide the means for reaching those ends either subject studied alone, however, will lead to sterility and unhappiness. The two are emotional, the interlect serving as a check or guiding function in photojournalism.

From the above assertion of Ralph, it became obvious that no one man invented photography. Photography is a collective work of chemists, physicists and the likes thus reflecting the disparities in their definitions and understanding of the concept.

However, to comprehend the term photography, we must bring it down to its common terms as it was coined by Sir John harschel (1983:4) “photo” which means “light”‘ and “Graphiae” which means to draw or to write. Considering this, we can vividly define photography as: ” the process producing image with the help of light11.

It can also be defined as the process of capturing a scene or an image with the help of light and producing it exactly on a paper material.


As earlier said that no one man invented photography, also no specific acceptable definition of photography. In other words aside the above definition there are several other definitions for photography, few among them are:


Tejuoso (2005) “photography is the process of writing or drawing with light”. Petals ()”photography is a visual communication which deals with the production of image”

Osunbiyi (2005) photography concerns visuals communication and expression based on the production of a permanent record of an image”.


However, the aforelisted definitions of photography can be vividly enunciated based on the fixing photography is a visual communication because it allows for the record of an event in a pictorial form and it helps in mirroring it in pictures. Photography could also be seen as a language it is never a reality but a near reality.

Despite the modern glitz beginning of television and films, the beginning can be traced to photography. Langford (1979) corroborates this claim when he refers to the modern media (television and films) as technical extension of photography. He observed further that irrespective of the difference in people’s language and location, photography with television and films entertain, educate and formed basis upon which people’s fear, joy, poverty and pride are further reflected to others.


Photographs can abet desires in most direct utilitarian ways- as when someone collects photographs of anonymous examples of desirable as an aid to masturbation. The matter is more complex when photographs are used to stimulate the moral impulse. Desire has no history at least it is experienced in each instance as all fore ground immediacy.

Thus, almost opposite rules hold true for the use of photography. To awaken desire and to awaken conscience, the images that mobilize conscience are always linked to a given historical situation. The more general they are the less likely they are to be effective.

According to Wikipedia the types of photography are as listed:

*   Landscape photography

*   Wild life photography

*   Aerial photography

*   Sports photography

*   Portrait photography

Landscape Photography

If you love photography and have the tendency to stop and look at beautiful scenery around you and freeze nature in one picture, you are definite!}’ a type of photographer interested in the type of photography called landscape photography.

Wild Life Photography

The genre of photography that focuses on animals and their natural habitat is called wild life photography. Animal behaviors in the wild are also captured to be printed in journals or exhibitions. Many people practice this type of photography. Apart from a good camera, several lens, strong flash light, you need patience to click the right picture.

Aerial Photography

Aerial photography is that kind of photography where pictures are captured from a higher altitude such as planes, air balloons, parachutes and skyscrapers. These pictures provide a larger view of the subject and its background.

Sports Photography

This genre of photography specializes on capturing a decisive moment in an event of sports. Sports photography requires practice along with various equipment.

Portrait Photography

One of the oldest types of photography is portrait photography. It can range from shooting your family members, friends or pets. It is often called portraiture and this type of photography abounds.

There are seven other types of photography according to Osunbiyi and Tejuoso (2005), these are listed and explained below.

*t*   Formal pictures *t*   Informal pictures

Action pictures

Spontaneous Action Pictures

Dramatic Pictures

People Without People Picture

Quarrel- Necessity-Action pictures

Formal Pictures

These are types of photographs taken with a procedural arrangement or agreement between the photographer and the object of focus.

Talking about the focus here means the object or subject whose photograph is to be taken. Us distinct feature is that it is pre arranged as such photographs are taken with the knowledge and awareness of the subject on whose part some preparation is also required. Example of this is picture taken on campus or studio e.t.c.

Informal Pictures

This is a clear contrast to its formal counterpart. Unlike formal pictures, informal pictures is taken without the knowledge or awareness of the object of focus. It is therefore not prearranged- arranged or organized. Consequently, no serious preparation is required on the part of the subject. Example of this type is picture taken during football match or other event.

Action Pictures

As the name implies depicts some action on the part of the subject. Although every picture project a degree of action but the action picture is unique in the sense that the action in which the subject is engaged is quite obvious, and not just the pose as in the others.

Spontaneous Action Picture

Spontaneous Action Picture is a time conscious picture, these conveys that actuality in the time of an occurrence is a paramount consideration in spontaneous action pictures. The event recorded usually happen within a brief period of short time, consequently, they could be missed for ever if they are not quickly taken. Examples include picture of a goalkeeper conceding a goal.


‘[‘here are many reasons why photography is important. The reasons are as follows:

  1. it can be proved that something happened (i.e landing on the moon)
  2. Evidence – photography can stand as evidence in the sense that it can show some one something they themselves cannot see. Not only can these, photography also show something that is happening all over the world. Even if you are not there. An example is what we view on the internet, the photographs of some foreign event, people and places or what happened over seas.
  3. Means of communication- it is another means of communication to send a picture of your
    kids to relatives. To see the face of a dead ancestor or a person. Photograph has the effect
    that words do not have as the saying goes a picture says a thousand words.
  4. Source of income- photography brings income to photographers. Photographers can take
    pictures of a product that is being sold and get it out to the public to be sold.
  5. Documentation- photography helps in documenting lives, create meaningful pieces of art

and express ourselves. VI.      Awareness- it also a way to inform the public and increase their awareness of current

events. It feeds people with adequate information and help them to be current especially

things  going  on  in  the  society,  photography  functions  on this  most  in the  media


Osunbiyi (2005) photography serves several purposes in every society, however they unveil some importance of photography which are as follows.

  1. Record purpose
  2. Credibility
  3. Preservation of event
  4. illustration
  5. Information dissemination

Record Purpose Dramatic Pictures

These are photographs taken on the stage during the course of drama or dramatic performance, more importantly when such photographs can be used as illustrations to advertise such a play or drama. They are dramatic pictures. Examples include actors and actresses taken on location.



Osunbiyi (2005) fished out three distinct forms of photography which are:

  1. Photograph)’ as representation
  2. Photography as form
  3. Photography as expression

Photography as representation

This is a direct representation of the object or subject taken. Under this form of photography, no serious action is required. Dead duck are substitute for reality. Most photographs taken in the studio are conspicuous examples of this form (Tejuoso citing Susan 1973}

Photography as Form

According to Tummz (1991) is a form of photograph that depicts nature. Photography as a form
is usually an exposure of nature. They are photographs taken from scenes i.e scenery pictures.
•0               This form of photography encourages systematic arrangement of objects or items to be taken.

Examples are photographs of forest, waterfall valley and so forth.

Photography as expression

M                 Another  name   which   can   be   described  to  this  form   of photography   is   communicative

photography .however it is usually used to convey certain information. It is evident that in journalistic profession this form is adopted also in other profession such as advertisement.

Photography as expression conveys information even faster than the pen written messages. Clifford Douglas(2001) added that expressive form of photography is a fast form of communication and is usually appealing to the mind.

Photography is used to record and keep event. People of this generation stil! have the knowledge of what happened in decades past, not because it is documented alone but the photographs taken in those days conjures the events in the minds of people.

Preservation of [{vents

Events are kept and preserved for future references; they are also preserved for people to remember for life. However, no event can be preserved without the heip of photography. In other words photography does an undisputable work in preserving event for memory.


Photography helps to illustrate things in pictorial form. In the field of journalism, photography-does this most and this is called photograph of communication. There are some happenings that would not be penned down but photography does illustrate them in pictorial form.

Information Dissemination

Just like the two purposes that were first enunciated, photography does convey information, thus it is called communicative picture. Most information would not be better comprehended if they are penned down but would be well understood if they are conveyed through pictures. Photographs do this a lot.



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