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Custom The History of Photography essay paper sample

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Photography is often associated with facts and accuracy. Unfortunately, since its inception, photography has continued to defy this popular belief. Photography is an art of fiction that goes beyond representing actual scenes. Photography was discovered in 1839 and since then has been used as a tool for communication. Artists and critical thinkers continue to use the art in storytelling. Just like other arts, photography can be exaggerated or altered further away from the truth. How much further this can be done is dependent on the intention of the artist. Recent days have seen this art become popularly deceptive as will be demonstrated in this easy. The record of photography and its use in fiction is long rooted; many debates have been staged all aimed at exploring the mediums ability to present deceptive as well as factual ideas.

The Tourist Guy

After the famous attack on September 11th 2001, the whole world was sent into deception by artists who purported to have captured the events in camera. A famous photograph popularly referred to as Tourist Guy purportedly depicts a tourist standing on the top of the WorldTradeCenter a few seconds before the plane hit the tower. This art of a creative mind managed to send shock waves in the minds of many audiences as it appeared in many manipulated forms in the internet. Many people were persuaded to believe that the art was factual and an accurate representation of what had transpired that particular day. Had the photograph been true, many say that it would be and still is a representation of the insecure habitat man has created over time advancing the threat against his own life every now and then.

Nature and Origin of the Photograph

The photograph was soon dismissed as a creation of a critical mind. It had originated from Peter Guzli who captured it four years before the event during his visit in New York. The photo is said to have been sent to Guzli’s friends as a lark and had been thereafter transferred to other people throughout the world after undergoing various manipulations. Thanks to other critical thinkers who came up with enough theoretical proof it was dismissed as a fake representation of the events in question. Some of the arguments presented to dismiss the picture included the clothing of the said tourist which were not commensurate with the season, Boeing 767s are said to have caused the accident but the photo presents a Boeing 757, the two photographs are incommensurate in color and clearly indicate a manipulation to fit the authors’ intention among many others.

Interestingly, a story was told in a series of other photographs containing editions of the Tourist Guy. Some of the other popular editions of the tourist guy included an edition where he was depicted in historic events such as: assassination of John Kennedy, the sinking of the titanic, the Hindenburg disaster, and at the destruction of the Air France Flight. This story goes beyond depicting humor and entertaining its audience. It captures serious activities that had taken place in the past and the endeavor to unveil the truth illustrated therein calls for a rhetoric review of the photographs.

Justifying Fiction in Photography

These editions of the Tourist Guy depict the potential of photography not only to deceive but also to communicate seasoned themes to people from various life dynamics. The art represents a critic of historical events arousing varied feelings in the minds of the audience. The fascinating thing about this particular art is that the initial intention, as explained by its author, was to depict humor. However, the photo attracted different reactions soon after it had been quickly transferred to other parts of the world becoming a famous theme. The art of photography in literature is a powerful tool that has been used over many seasons to converse with different people.

Like other fictions, photography can be idealistic, suggestive, and prejudiced and used only to depict certain events rather than represent actual facts of the event. Fiction evokes imagination, criticism, perceptions and arouses feelings relating to events rather than educates on the same events. Photography poses characters with varying character traits, contains themes that are presented in different styles. Photography thus meets such specification qualifying it to be categorized as a fiction.

Photography like other fictions presents a critic of society with themes such as politics, governance, moral decadency, religion, tradition, and relationships among others .The picture in question ‘Tourist Guy’ is an example of a critical art that was adopted and used by various people to analyze some of the themes earlier mentioned. The art presents political scenes such as the assassination of John F Kennedy attracting mixed reactions yet sending a timely message to the audience. As it can be noted from the editions presented of the Tourist Guy, historic tragedies are hard to forget and should be maintained in art for the future generations. They remain clearer and longer in people’s minds. Other photographs that are known to have impacted societies include those preserved in many museums all over the world.

Photography can also be used just like other arts to preserve history and pass information from one generation to the other. The Tourist Guy’s photographs, though deceptive, can be used to preserve historic events. For the current generation, editions of the photo intertwined with other events is a reminder of historic tragedies. For the future, these photos can be used to keep the memories of the events alive for many generations. These photographs can be preserved for longer periods and would serve to remind people of certain things regarding their past. The history of this art is deep-rooted dating back to the invention of the pinhole camera. Since then it has evolved to become the prestigious art it is today.

Comparison of Photography and Other Arts

Photography as a fiction has a few advantages over other arts .Photographs can be used to communicate messages faster than other arts. In the current technology, photographs are easier to reproduce, modify, upload, and transfer from one place to another. Photographs unlike other artistic works can be manipulated into various forms to suit different settings yet retain the original themes. However, photographs lack certain aspects present in other arts making them ineffective tools of communication. Photographs attract valid interpretations making them inadequate for use in fiction. Photographs provide a limited medium of communication depicting limited themes as contrasted to other artistic works. 


Living at a time when it has become extremely difficult to express the authenticity of any photograph, we are left with the option of dismissing all as a fiction. Since it is difficult to trust their sources, we are compelled to treat them as both representative of a pragmatic actuality and as an actuality which has been manipulated to represent other scenes. Empiricism resides in parts of the temporally human memory with its particulars, which can be compare with crystal segments of a material remaining unaltered just for a short period. This truth makes us appreciate the role played by photography in maintaining human history over longer periods of time. 

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