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Camera Reading.

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Lauren MacKenzie September 2003 Engl. 105 Paper # 1 Camera Reading Over the last few decades, most American children have grown up with access to a camera. At a young age children often get their first camera, and pictures of animals at the zoo or family outings are generally the results of the first few rolls. As young adults pictures are taken of friends and family. Vacations, road trips, concerts, and eventually their own children become the main subjects in picture albums. By the end of their life they have documentation of various moments captured through their eyes, but for what purpose? Surely photo albums are kept in the family, but without someone who can tell the story behind the photo, they become meaningless, regardless of whether the photo seems to tell a story or not. Pictures are taken in a very different manner now, than they use to be taken. The subjects in older photographs were families or important men posed in a very neutral position. ...read more.


Jacob Riis, a New York photographer, took pictures of various types of people in their native environment; such as: the Italian Ragpicker, Pedlar in Cellar, and the Blind Beggar (Masters Of Photography). He was able to capture not only the people but also the essence of their surroundings and conditions. Cameras have only recently been inducted into mainstream usage. Various models began to sell to the public in mass quantities starting in the 1970s (Greenspun). Now, in the 2000s nearly everyone owns a camera. With the vast amounts of cameras available, the type of camera owned can be seen as a sign of social status. Owning a camera-phone, for instance, may make you the coolest kid in 7th grade. The cameras practical purpose, such as reporting a car accident to an insurance company with a picture included is usually not the reason for buying the device. The motive for purchasing such an item becomes a need to fit in with the times and the hopes of popularity or acceptance. ...read more.


However, the pictures left behind do not actually capture the life of a human; they show an idealized false identity. They show some of the times when someone was happy. After all, how often do you photograph the sad moments? When looking through photos that are attempting to document a life, the depiction it forms must be taken with a grain of salt. Cameras may just be a fad. But the want of keeping alive as many memories as possible is here to stay. Even though the way of taking pictures and the subjects of the pictures have changed, the idea behind photography has been the same throughout history. Only, today, as the price tag drops on many of today's top name brand products, the ability for anyone to own a camera is on the rise. This gives photographers the ability to document anything they want, no matter how important or irrelevant it is. Having the technology needed to take focused photos easily and at an affordable price, gives a head start to future generations of photographers who will fight to be remembered through their own lens. Greenspun, Philip. "History of Photography Timeline." Photo.net. 2002 <http://www.photo.net/history/timeline> "Masters Of Photography" Webgalleries.com. < http://www.masters-of- photography.com/index.html> 2 ...read more.

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