About a century ago, photography was, invented. in those early days, only simple box-cameras were available to take simple black-and-white pictures. Photographic techniques and equipment have come a long way since then. Exploding flash guns have progressed to compact electronic flash units, box-cameras to sophisticated computerized reflex cameras, stills to movies, black-and-white to full glorious colours and part-time dabblers to highly paid professionals.
In almost every sphere of human activity nowadays, photography has a role to play.
Photography as a hobby is perhaps the most popular of all its uses. Cameras and films are now cheap and easy to use. “Instamatic” cameras have largely eliminated the hit-or-miss techniques of yesteryears. Anybody with a pair of eyes and hands can take reasonably good pictures. We see some amateur photographers all over the place, especially in holiday resorts and recreational areas, Tourists and sightseers-are capture photos like a professional. Who would have looked at old favourite photographs and not recall memories of days gone by? Wonderful times and places are all recorded in photographs, no matter how faded they are. They are a link to our past. Newspapers and magazines would never be what they are today without photography. Photographs enliven these periodicals with pictures of people and places. “A picture is worth a thousand words” so goes the old saying. Today a well-taken photograph is worth more than a thousand words. It describes a scene infinitely better than mere words can.
Besides making newspapers and magazines attractive, photography provides jobs for the numerous professionals that roam the world in search of pictures.
Modern printing processes make extensive use of photographic techniques. Off-set printing and photocopying are examples of what photography is doing for us. Such is the versatility of photography. In fact, our books and magazines are all made by photographic processes.
Another field of human activity where photography is extensively used is medicine. X-ray photography is now a common thing in hospitals. They help doctors in diagnosis. In addition, X-rays may be used in the treatment of certain diseases. Nowadays with the invention of fibre-optics, where light can be directed through thin tubes, doctors can see and probe into the insides of patients as never before. They can then photograph all they see in full colour. Such techniques were unheard of just a decade or so ago.
Photography is also employed in meteorology. Weather forecasting by satellites is now a routine thing. It is also more accurate.
Pictures of other planets and celestial objects are always wonderful to ponder at. Space probes approaching the giant’s planets of Jupiter and Saturn have taken sharp and clear pictures for us on Earth to see. How beautiful and majestic they look! All these were made possible by the wonders of photography.
Photography provides us with sights of deep-sea sharks, microscopic bacteria, constellations a million light-years away, ravishing beauties and our passport pictures. Its use is wide and varied and of tremendous importance to us. What better way than photography does the dentist have to see the inside of a tooth? What better thing than old photographs do we have to sit down and reminisce on once in a while?