The Beginning of War Photography
By the mid 1800s the camera was increasing in popularity. At first it was a long and tedious process to hold only a negative, which would be grainy and greatly un detailed, but as technique grew, photographers could print pictures in as short as eight minutes. By virtue of this, the demand for portraits grew exponentially, and studios would be packed with self - admiring people, looking to preserve their freshly maintained visage through the ages.

However, there were the photographers, who, as all artists, constantly seek something more and something true and pure. So these photographers left the studio in search of reality, rather than how cute one can look for the few minute exposure. People like Roger Fenton, Matthew Brady, and others were the first photojournalists and war photographers, leading the way for a photo crazed, photo driven future.

Rather than the glorious, exaggerated paintings and sketches of events and wars, photojournalism provided a raw, unedited approach to conveying emotion and reality. That is, there is a certain aspect of truth and relevance to photographs that paintings simply can’t match. There also is enough room for artistic sensibilities, such as angle or props, which is not left out of photos, but allows it to remain utterly awesome, brilliant, and intriguing. Photojournalism, purely as an artistic journalistic approach, as it began, allows the photographer to creatively present bitter horrors and unnerving realities to the viewer, unlike any other art form or journalism to this point.

Although the idea began solely as war photography, and the aftermath of battles, this new field approach lent the courage to other artists and photographers to get out of their studio. In modern times, we have photojournalism on every topic related to politics, and beyond.

Mathew Brady
George Barnard