Photography is the practice of capturing pictures using cameras and storing them in the form of prints. It has been used after man found the use of photography to be more precise in storing details about activities as opposed to hand-sketching, which can be biased based on the artist’s point of view. Photographs were traditionally preserved on hardcopy paper, as opposed to today, where they can be stored digitally on softcopy. Photographs in softcopy can be seen on platforms such as smartphones and computers. Gardner’s photographic sketchbook of the war was prepared by Alexander Gardner and it was a documentation of the American civil war which took place from 1861 to 1864. An example of the photographs in the sketchbook is the Home of Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettyburg which is one amongst the 100 images in the sketchbook and it is a depiction of the intensity of the battle of Gettyburg which registered a very high number of casualties. In the image, Gardner decided to focus on a single soldier who was in a hideout he called the “shooter’s den”. The shooter’s den is portrayed as a very secure place where it was hardly possible for a soldier to be spotted by the enemy. The soldier’s corpse lied on the horizontal ground with his face slightly facing the camera and the rifle on his side. Gardner wanted to clearly show the cause of the death of the soldier.
This kind of photography was responsible for emotional feeling of the viewers. It was a feeling of sadness as it pasted a sombre mood on all viewers and that may explain why no such event occurred among the later generations of the Americans.
In the nineteenth century, photography was received with a rather mixed reaction but in general it was considered a legitimate art. First of all, the government of France was amongst the first governments to recognise it as art. This recognition was in the year 1862 which is apparently within the time of the Battle of Gettyburg. This could be attributed to the fact that it was generally cheaper for a photographer to save a single image with a simple snapshot and within a relatively short duration as compared to painting which would take longer time duration. Since it was cheaper, photography made the possession of images easier to both the wealthy and the middleclass. Previously, these images were only accessible by the wealthy since they were the only ones who could afford the paintings.
Photography was accepted as a legitimate art also because of the fact that it was believed to reveal the inner feeling of those who are in the photograph together with those who viewed the photograph. For happy moments, the feeling of happiness is clearly seen in the images while for sad images, the same could be seen from those in the photograph.
In conclusion, photography is an art that has been passed on from generation to generation and it has proved that the images could not be easily distorted and this therefore should encourage all stakeholders to not fight it but rather embrace it as a way of saving information for later reference.