World Photography Day: an art form that also holds our memories

On World Photography Day, we have to reflect on what practical photography really is – an art, or a science. Well, photography is both an art and a science. The science behind the lens to capture the perfect shot, as well as the aesthetic that makes these photos remain recorded for time immemorial. Visual thinking, as we know it, is the normal way of thinking for many – we can forget about numbers, but we rarely forget about visuals. Photography, in this sense, like any form of visual art, expands human perception and allows us to experience emotions that move us, making us see the world in a totally new light. Today, as we celebrate World Photography Day, we celebrate not only the power of photography, but we also recognize its vital role in human life. This day is an ode to photographers and their importance in the evolution of photography as we know it today. The day also marks the global appreciation for photography, which has been democratized over the years, becoming more popular with users, brands and the ecosystem.

As an art form, photography has evolved over the years and many museums and galleries display the brilliance captured by professional photographers. These exhibitions always have a story behind them, or sometimes even a social cause. And that’s the beauty of photography as a medium – its ability to evoke powerful human emotions and then initiate a call to action. Unlike paintings that can be based on fiction, photography requires actual physical models, objects or visuals present to be captured. This expands the human brain’s attention to environmental cues. A photographer is constantly looking to capture that perfect shot – be it “candid” or even planned, which is a rage among millennials these days. And there’s a lot behind this perfect photo – from subject to background, to colors, etc.

Talking about millennials brings me to an important factor that has led to the rapid growth of professional photography – social media. Photo-sharing platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr have paved the way to become an integral part not only of our lives, but also of the entire brand universe. Customers are now connecting with brands more than ever through digital videos and photographs. This has led to the adoption of photography as a profession by many and, if not a profession, at least to know photographic equipment to produce quality content for their audience.

Whether it’s the #InstaReels trend or the huge vlogging boom, it’s all been possible due to the advent of technology and its evolution. With the rise of digital photography that allows photographers to assess the quality of an image immediately after it’s taken, along with easier photo editing, a perfect image is the end product almost every time.

Professional photography genres such as wildlife, fashion and weddings have always been more recognised, but new avenues such as food photography, luxury photography, maternity photography and travel photography have gained much more popularity in the recent past. Thus, there are numerous niches that can be explored based on your interest when taking photography as a profession.

Photography may be a profession for many, but for some it is a passion – a hobby that gives them solace. Just like painting or writing, a photographer is an artist and their art is like a breath of fresh air – bringing sanity and peace of mind not only to the photographer, but to the public as well.

Noteworthy is that photography, even for amateurs, can tell great stories. From the era of physical photo albums to digital photo albums, we value these memories and relive moments documented on paper (or photo sharing platforms) through photographs. On the journey to the nostalgic path, when we are losing a loved one or a particular landmark in our lives, we always find solace in photographs. And we will, even in the times to come – because photography as art will flourish, for what it offers to all of us.

C Sukumaran is the Director of Consumer System Products and Image Communication Business at Canon India.

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