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Mondino Photography I History of Photography

The word photography comes from two ancient Greek words: photo, for "light," and graph, for "drawing." . "Drawing with light" is a way of describing photography. When a photograph is made, light is used to record a picture of an object or scene on a light-sensitive surface.

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Mondino Photography I History of Photography

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Photography ISlide2

History of Photography

The word photography comes from two ancient Greek words: photo, for "light," and graph, for "drawing."

"Drawing with light" is a way of describing photography. When a photograph is made, light is used to record a picture of an object or scene on a light-sensitive surface

. Early photographs were called sun pictures, because sunlight itself was used to create the image.

    Mankind has been a maker of images at least since the cave paintings of some 20,000 years ago. With the invention of photography, a realistic image that would have taken a skilled artist hours or even days to draw could be recorded in exact detail within a fraction of a second.Slide3

Cave DrawingSlide4

Today, photography has become

a powerful means of

communication and a mode of visual expression

that touches human life in many ways. For example, photography has become popular as a means of crystallizing memories.   

Most of the billions of photographs taken today are snapshots--casual records to document personal events such as vacations, birthdays, and weddings.Slide5

Photographs are used extensively by newspapers, magazines, books, and television to convey information and advertise products and services. 

   A camera can be used in locations too dangerous for humans. Photographs can also be objects of art that explore the human condition and provide aesthetic pleasure. For millions of people, photography is a satisfying hobby or a rewarding career.Slide6

Photography as an Art

Today photography is widely recognized as a fine art.

Photographs are displayed in art museums, prized by collectors, discussed by critics, and studied in art history courses. Because of the special nature of photography, however,

this was not always the case

. In the early days of photography some people considered the medium something of a poor relation to the older, established visual arts, such as drawing and painting.    The arguments stemmed from the fact that a camera is a mechanical instrument. Because the mechanical procedure of taking a picture is automatic, detractors claimed that photography required no coordination of hand and eye and none of the manual skills essential to drawing and painting.

They also argued that photography required no creativity or imagination because the photographic subject was "ready-made" and did not require manipulation or control by the photographer.


A camera, no matter how many automatic features it may have, is a lifeless piece of equipment until a person uses it. It then becomes a uniquely responsive


-an extension of the photographer's eye and mind. A photographer

creates a picture by a process of selection. Photographers looking through the camera's viewfinder must decide what to include and what to exclude from the scene. They select the distance from which to take the picture and the precise angle that best suits their purpose. They select the instant in which to trip the shutter. This decision may require hours of patient waiting until the light is exactly right or it may be a split-second decision, but the photographer's sense of timing is always crucial.Slide8

Digital PhotographySlide9

Digital photography

uses an array of electronic photo detectors to capture the image focused by the lens, as opposed to an exposure on photographic film. The captured image is then digitized and stored as a computer file ready for digital processing, viewing, digital publishing or printing.Slide10

What makes a good photograph?

The shooting styles and photographic resumes of photographers vary greatly, but they all have one thing in common: their work inspires. Their photographs are beautiful to look at, they’re deeply emotive (able to arouse intense feeling), and they should drive you to become better. Slide11

What famous photographers say

Justin Mott

I always teach my workshop students you want someone to feel something, some sort of an emotion when they look at your images. That could be curiosity, anger, sadness, happiness, etc. The most important element of a photo to me is it’s ability to evoke emotion.”Slide12

Justin is an award winning photographer. He’s worked with The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Forbes, Conde Nast Traveler, and National Geographic Traveler, just to name a few.Slide13

Tanveer Badal

You have to really care about whatever you’re shooting. I know it sounds like a cliché but when I first started taking photos, like most amateur photographers, I would shoot everything in sight. Flowers. Doorknobs. Nascar. It didn’t matter that I didn’t care about pretty flowers, doorknobs or cars going in circles, I just took photos of them because I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re holding a big camera and something ‘cool’ is in front of you.

After the first million or whatever shots, I stopped my serial shooting spree. Now I don’t shoot as much but I’m always looking. One of my favorite parts about being a photographer is that it forces you to pay attention to things ordinary people may take for granted, or worse, not even notice. Light. Weather. Seasons. Most of my favorite shots were often taken at quick bursts — when inspiration struck and I was mentally and physically in a glorious state.”Slide14

Tanveer is a travel and wedding photographer who’s done work from the USA to Bangladesh and everywhere in between.Slide15

Jon Reid

After spending 10 years hung up in the technicalities of photography, I’ve come to appreciate that a good photograph is one that causes some sort of emotional response. We’re bombarded with so much imagery that our most common response to photography is indifference. If an image surprises me through an unusual view, wows me through its sheer beauty or makes me angry by showing injustice, it is a good photograph. It could be technically terrible, poorly composed and horribly exposed, but if it causes an emotional response, it will be memorable and therefore successful.”Slide16

Jon and his wife Tina are freelance photographers based in London. Their professional work has been used in magazines, print, web advertisements, and designer look books.Slide17

Larissa Olenicoff

Good photographs put you in a particular moment in time, they tell a story, or they speak to your emotions. The most important element of a great photograph is that it does all of the above.”Slide18

Larissa does things with her iPhone that make me and my fancy DSLR envious. Her creativity permeates her photos through her beautiful editing style.Slide19

Dario Endara

The most important element of a good photograph is the ability of the photo to communicate with the viewer. It should be able to tell a story through its composition, lighting, and most importantly its subject matter.”Slide20

Dario is an American photographer living in the Netherlands. He shoots a wide variety of genres including travel, wedding, portrait, and underwater scenes. His goal is to cover as much of the globe as possible, and he’s well on his way having visited more than 30 countries.Slide21

Other Aspects of “Good Photography”

Elements and Principles of art



A shape is a self contained defined area of geometric or organic form.


All lines have direction - Horizontal, Vertical or Oblique. Horizontal suggests calmness, stability and tranquility. Vertical gives a feeling of balance, formality and alertness. Oblique suggests movement and action


Size is simply the relationship of the area occupied by one shape to that of another.


Texture is the surface quality of a shape - rough, smooth, soft hard glossy etc.


Also called Hue


Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Value is also called ToneSlide22


Balance in design is similar to balance in physics

A large shape close to the center can be balanced

by a small shape close to the edge. A large light

toned shape will be balanced by a small dark toned

shape (the darker the shape the heavier it appears to be)


Gradation of size and direction produce linear perspective. Gradation of of colour from warm to cool and tone from dark to light produce aerial perspective. Gradation can add interest and movement to a shape. A gradation from dark to light will cause the eye to move along a shape.Slide25


Repetition with variation is interesting, without variation repetition can become monotonous.


Contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements eg. opposite colours on the colour wheel - red / green, blue / orange etc. Contrast in tone or value - light / dark. Contrast in direction - horizontal / vertical.



Harmony in art is the visually satisfying effect of combining similar, related elements. eg.adjacent colours on the colour wheel, similar shapes etc.


Dominance gives art interest, counteracting confusion and monotony. Dominance can be applied to one or more of the elements to give emphasisSlide28


Relating the design elements to the idea being expressed in a art reinforces the principal of unity.eg. a photograph with an active aggressive subject would work better with a dominant oblique direction, course, rough texture, angular lines etc. whereas a quiet passive subject would benefit from horizontal lines, soft texture and less tonal contrast.Slide29