Photographic, Social And Public Understandings Of The Past Essay

2086 Words Nov 27th, 2014 9 Pages
Photographs might be truthful, but the descriptions of pictures are not at all reliable’ . Photographs have helped to structure social and cultural understandings of the past, they are considered to be important examples of the past but more specifically to when one wants to gain an understanding of social or cultural history. As photographs reveal more about the time in which it was taken, there are many different types of photographs and they have become increasingly integral to how we live within society therefore an important source in research. Throughout this essay there will be focus on how photographs participate in shaping cultural, social and public understandings of the past.
The discovery of photography was announced in 1839. With work on ‘problems of how to produce images with light and chemical substance’ Edwards stated the makers of photography came up with distinct solutions to enable the invention of photography. It was during the nineteenth century, where improvements were made to lenses on cameras and there were many changes in regard to photography. However at the very beginning questions arose about the credibility of photographs and using them as evidence, Edwards poses some of these questions and highlights the concern there has been. As there seems to be little ‘internal evidence in photographs to substantiate claims made for their content’ in other words there seems to be a need for relying on the photographer. One important question is ‘what…

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