Photography is a wonderful form of visual media that gives the viewer a third person insight through the lenses. But what has the medium contributed to science?
In the field of astronomy, archaeology, and graphic arts, photography has provided physical evidence that paved the way for many breakthroughs in each of their fields. For example, in the field of map making, aerial photography has provided information that gave way for the chartering of maps of areas that previously were thought of to be impossible.
In medicine, the medium made a crucial role in the understanding of the anatomy of different species of animals. X-rays are photographs too. It has even helped in the field of plastic surgery, the critical component in plastic surgery is the advancement of quality of pictures.
For facial reconstruction, photos are taken to match the conditions before the operation and after the procedure. They do so by matching the lighting, clothing and cosmetics. The camera and its settings must also be the same.
Astronomy uses photography differently. Details that are exposed only after prolonged exposure of light are highlighted through photographs. This is crucial as the human eye cannot be used for prolonged durations. The discovery of the dwarf planet Pluto owes much of its credit to images captured by Percival Lowell in 1906.
Photography has played a crucial role in archaeology. They’ve been a part of archaeological toolkits as early as the 1800s, the period when photography was invented. Although, at the time, drawings were, and also to some extent are, seen as a superior medium, they were used to make records of features and sections and even general shots. In many ways, photography laid ground to modern archaeology.
Today, photographs are taken of excavation sites from overhead that makes use of towers and lifts.
Modern uses of photography include graphic design and advertisements among many. The growth of numerous companies can be attributed to a single photograph that skyrocketed them to global fandom.
Graphic designers use photographs to convey information or as references for illustrations. The methods that do not involve photography in advertisement is very few. Branding, illustrations, drawings, product design and photography all use photographs to convey a cohesive, yet intricate story to specifically appeal to the masses. A graphic designer must know his way around a camera.
As technology progresses leaps and bounds, the application of photography will only become more profound. If it’d be used, merely, to document everything that is happening, photographs are and always will be a powerful medium that will convey more than just stories.