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Digital photography, a powerful communication tool

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Message Anil Gulati
World Photography Day Special August 19, is marked as a World Photography Day, the day when the first photograph came in existence. It was announced by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in the year 1839, when two processes namely optical and chemical helped together put a real photograph. As per Robert Leggat book ‘A history of Photography’ refers on the name "Photography”, which was first used by Sir John Herschel in 1839, the year when the photographic process became public. The word is derived from the Greek words for light and writing i.e. photo meaning "light," and graph "drawing." And ‘Drawing with light" indicates word photography. Since the time photographs came in existence, this mode of expression has undergone a dramatic change. Photographic films were pioneered by George Eastman in 1888 when he used his first camera, which he called as Kodak. From there to a journey of 35 mm, colour films, and now the digi medium, a credit to the evolving technology, this powerful means of communication has become a mode of visual expression, which has invaded our lives. Today Photography is not only about crystallizing memories, of events, it is a profession, it’s fun, it is used for exchanging idea (and off course MMS !) and what not ? According to one of the research amount of digital information created last year is equal to three million times the amount of information in all the books ever written.  161 exabytes of digital information were created and copied last year. An exabyte is one quintal bytes or a billion gigabytes. If one put this information in terms of the written material it will be equal to 12 stacks of books, each extending the 93 million miles between the Earth and the sun. If we go at the same pace year 2010 it will be 988 exabytes. Lot of that is in form of digital images. Interestingly all these expressions come to live by a life less piece called camera. Today with advent of digital medium we gave many ways to undertake the same activity be it a digital camera, video camera, mobile camera or web camera one has many options. With expansion of web, it has given an expanse to digital photography. Not only Photographs are used by media, to convey news, information, or by Hollywood/Bollywood to portray one’s personality, photography is also used in astronomy to medical diagnosis. In fact if one wants to write on its use it is a separate compendium, simple way be to think a world without photographs, to realize its usage. But there are negatives too photographs can be used for many other unwanted purposes, to sway opinions etc. Photographic lovers also feel that with advent of digital technology in this medium it has taken away the satisfaction of producing the piece of art which was earlier there and even has impacted ethics in photography. But on other side it has given rise to many new photographers who even have taken this as a hobby. 
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