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Sharing your travel photos today is a simple click away thanks to how far photography technology has come.  Gone are the days where you almost needed an advanced science degree to be able to capture beloved memories.  Today anyone with even the slightest of sense can take amazing photos, and thanks to social media outlets, those images can be shared with the world almost instantly after they are captured. 

The idea or science behind the camera arose somewhere around the 5th and 4th centuries BC.  A well known man you may know as Aristotle was among those who helped contribute to the advent of the camera.  The first cameras were box like contraptions known as pinhole cameras, and the camera obscura, which unlike the modern day camera could not produce a permanent likeness of a subject on paper.  It would rather project an image which could be traced by an artist, resulting in an extremely exact drawing of a subject.

To cover the complete history of photography would take a very thick book, but the goal over the next couple of thousand years was to perfect the camera to produce a permanent sharp colorful image which could easily be shared with the masses. Today with the advent of digital photography, the camera has begun to almost act as a new art tool, like a paintbrush, which has infinite possibilities of transforming an ordinary image into an original unique work of art. In this way photography has almost gone back to its early beginnings as a work of art and not simply a goal to capture the images we see in front of us as they truly appear.

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The evolution of photography: Camera’s we once had!

    We are extremely lucky to be blessed with the photographic technology of today as it is quite simple. The race has been ongoing to create the smallest and most advanced camera such as the GoPro and the Nikon Coolpix S01, which literally means the potential of what a camera can do literally rests in the palm of our hand.

  No longer are large bulky cameras needed which required a heavy tripod to be used if we wanted to zoom in on a subject. My tripod which I had used daily to capture my early images now rests in the closet collecting cobwebs. Changing lenses on cameras, although still done by serious professional photographers, are not needed for the amateur photographer, who in all honesty can produce images that rival those of so called professionals.

    The camera has gone from a very expensive hobby to a very inexpensive way of sharing our beloved memories. I remember having to purchase loads and loads of those dumb little film canisters which became very costly. Five dollars bought you 24 images whereas now five dollars can buy you an 8 GB memory card which can hold thousands of photos and video.

   We are also blessed with instant gratification of seeing the images we wished to capture, unlike in the past when we would have to drop off our film at photo developing companies and wait sometimes days in the hopes we were able to successfully get good pictures. Travel photographers would come back from far off destinations in which they spent a good fortune on flights, accommodation, etc, not knowing if the images they went to capture would turn out how they had hoped. Today photographers instantly know if their trip was successful or not.

 Long gone too are the days of physical photo albums where we would share our memories. Today they exist online and it has been statistically shown that only 20 percent of digital images are actually printed on paper. Websites like Facebook and Flickr have become today’s photo albums which can not only be shared instantly with people across the world but are also free, making photography for the modern day person extremely affordable.

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Websites like Facebook and Flickr have become today’s photo albums which can not only be shared instantly with people across the world but are also free, making photography for the modern day person extremely affordable.

In the past when all was said and done, a roll of film containing just 24 images would cost at least $25, which included the film, developing, and their display in an album. That equates to more than $1 per image, and those images could not be altered or fixed in any way unlike today’s digital photography. You were stuck with whatever the photo developing company gave you back, who employed young teenage kids with not the slightest idea of how to develop pictures, leaving your chances of getting professional looking images almost nil.

Today you can not only produce professional looking photos in the comfort of your underwear at home, and endlessly edit them to your wildest imaginations, but can also create amazing coffee table books and canvas prints to decorate your home. Digital photography has definitely become the most accepted form of photography and has bankrupted those companies which were reluctant to jump on board such as the infamous Kodak company.

Our kids will no longer understand what is meant by the saying of a “Kodak Moment,” but thanks to how far photography has come we can now all create those moments with ease.

 About The Author

Mike is an American photographer who has been travelling and photographing the world for the last 7 years.  His wife Megan is an Australian Journalist, and after having met in Africa in 2010 they have continued traveling and made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Destinations  People of the World Wildlife Personal Travels

You might also like: Travel Photography Essentials

 

    12 Comments

  1. One of my main goals of my upcoming trip is to recreate the travel photos Richard Halliburton took in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I have a whole gallery of them on my website. It’s amazing what he had to go through to take a single photo, while for me it will be a simple click of a button. But he was also able to take the first ever photographs of now-iconic places, something few of us will be able to do.

    • Old photographs still have a certain intrigue though – I love looking through old photography, it used to be such an art-form in itself. And it’s very true – there are hardly any places left on earth now which have never been photographed before.

      You have to wonder where photography will head next!!

  2. Such an interesting post! It really boggles my mind how quickly things have changed in recent years, for the travel and travel blogging community in particular. Even a couple of decades ago couldn’t have done a fraction of the things we’re doing now. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a good thing, but mostly I just try to appreciate all the tools at our fingertips!

    • You and me both – it’s insane to think that I remember the very first time my school introduced computers – and now they’re replacing textbooks completely! We’ve really seen a huge boom in innovation, it’s crazy to think where we’ll advance next!!

      Definitely has it’s pros and cons, but as you said, all we can do is appreciate the tools and make the most of the amazing technology!

  3. I have many of these types of cameras still…I just don’t use them anymore…and I love the instant gratification thing!

    • They’re a great antique item to have – we just can’t bring ourselves to get rid of them!!! We still have old albums of the photos they produced which are fun to look through now and then :)

  4. I don’t remember the last time I developed film.Crazy how fast things change and are changing

    • You wonder where we will head next!

  5. I remember using my parents’ camera and counting the 24 photos I could take before the role of film ended. I can’t imagine having that restriction now.

    • Mike and I were just talking about this the other day. Have just finished our time in the Galapagos and we have some 6,000 photos from just going way to snap happy. We figured out that with only 24 photos on a roll, each photo used to be worth around $1 once you took into consideration film and developing costs. That’d be one expensive habit nowadays!

  6. SO interesting. I’m a shutterbug for sure and although I love modern photography opportunities, I love old photos and movies where they used the old school stuff. :)

    • Thanks Shan! So glad you found the post interesting! We love a combination of old and new technologies as well – there’s definitely something still very romantic about using old school methods! I think you appreciate the photo that little bit more when more manual labor goes into it!

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