World Photography Day or World Photo Day is observed annually on August 19th to celebrate the art of photography and its roots globally.
On this day, photographers and enthusiasts of the whole world come together to pay homage to their careers or hobbies of photography.
Photos of even fleeting moments can revive the strongest emotions and help us cherish memories that hold a special place in our lives.
A Brief History of Photography
Over the years, photography has had its fair share of evolution and it has scientific origins that combine both physics and chemistry.
One of the first revolutionary milestones for photography dates back to the Daguerreotype, an early photographic process developed in 1837 by Louis Daguerre, a French native.
The process was incredibly popular in the 1840s and 1850s and set a benchmark for photography today.
It involved taking a piece of silver-plated copper, polishing it to a mirror-like finish, and finishing it with a light-sensitive coating.
The surface would then be exposed to light using a camera, and later developed over mercury vapour. The result revealed a very crisp and detailed image.
World Photography Day is observed on August 19th as it is the date when Daguerre's invention was officially published in Paris by the French Academy of Sciences in 1839.
After purchasing the patent for the innovative process, the French government declared the invention of the Daguerreotype a free gift to the world.
From the more traditional portraits to a new reportage style of photography documenting WWII in 1939, photography evolved quickly over the past couple of centuries.
For most, even the days of developing wet film in a darkroom are largely behind us since the digital age was introduced in the 1970s.
Nowadays almost everyone has quick access to a digital camera.
Be it on a smartphone or an ultra-portable compact digital camera, you needn't ever miss a shot when you're out and about.
As such, photography has become a truly unique medium for self-expression appreciated by many all over the world.
The Evolution Of Photography
Since photography is a scientific process, it is constantly evolving and becoming more driven by technology and innovation.
In 2023, in an interesting turn of events, photographer Boris Eldagsen won an award at the Sony World Photography Awards using an image created entirely by AI, sparking conversations across the art community
Newspaper articles and art critics across the world said that an award-winning image generated by AI greatly challenged the traditional perception of photography
With this advancement, photographers are finding it hard to adapt to the changing scenario. On the bright side, it could help us to leverage these innovations into our creative adventures.
While this is a challenge that we have to overcome, it is essential to remember that nothing can replace the essence of art.
Photography is all about capturing moments, storytelling, and emotions. No technology can connect to people like a human photographer with a camera. Even during important events, we will be hiring photographers and not AI.
AI can help us make photography more efficient but it certainly cannot replace the creativity and human touch.
We should accept the new possibilities and make the process more efficient without losing the essence.
It is important to celebrate the different perspectives, approaches, and techniques of photography while simultaneously navigating the collaboration of art and technology.
World Photography Day Activities
It's common to see photography contests being held internationally on or around World Photography Day.
It encourages amateurs and professionals alike to participate and submit their images in a global celebration of photography.
Alternatively, many photographers simply choose to show their appreciation for the art by sharing their photos via social media using the hashtag #WorldPhotographyDay.
You don't just have to wait until August 19th to appreciate photography as exhibitions are held year-round.
From displaying the work of notable photographers such as Ansel Adams, Yousef Karsh, Annie Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, and David Bailey, to the work of lesser-known local artists, there are often exhibitions honoring the time-less work of the talented individuals who captured them.
If you wish to further enhance your own photographic skills, there are a wide range of courses available online or in various academic institutes.
There are also many photography clubs for like-minded amateurs to share and develop their love of the art together.