That’s a huge question that cries for an answer. At the outset, it will help to learn how it impacts human lives.
As the popular adage goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. It reminds us of the profound impact a picture can have on our senses. If you have ever poignantly stared at a picture or a photograph for more than a minute, you would discover that a picture can truly speak a thousand words. A picture has the ability to penetrate your senses and make you think. It has the power to deliver a message in a way that can change you. Whether, it’s a picture that deeply saddens you or something that tells an awe-inspiring story, no one can deny the fact that photography can inspire, entertain and empower.
Photography is a powerful medium. It has been used as a potent tool in media through the ages to depict the terrors and truths of war, and show the plight of the poor. A picture of an old lady who was forced to take to alms as a result of the 1998 financial crisis in Russia, or a photograph of a teenage boy dying of malnutrition in his mother’s arms in drought-stricken Somalia, can shake the core of our being. It can conjure up images that can overwhelm us with empathy and distress. The thought-provoking photos that we see daily in the newspaper, draws us closer to the real world and its problems. Photographs depict the reality from the streets, the cities and villages of the world. It is like holding up a mirror to society, engaging people to gain knowledge and introspect. Millions of photos that are posted online every day are in some way influencing our thought process and psyche. Since a photograph is apparently not complete without an associated content, it leaves a lot to the imagination, which makes it the perfect medium to immerse in. It gives us a better understanding of the world we live in by supplementing our thoughts and vision and leaving a lasting impression in our lives.
Photos do not always tell the true story. Today, with the advancement in technology and the availability of photo manipulation software it is difficult to tell a real photograph from a fake one, unless you know it is from an authoritative source. The images on social media are often fabricated and cannot be taken at its face value. As any good Photoshop expert will tell you, it is not always easy to tell the difference. A photo editing expert can give a whole new look to an existing photograph. Outsourcing image editing has, of late, come as a boon to those looking for an easy and cheap way to alter their images. However, it is not important to find why people feel the urge to manipulate images, but as long as it is able to convey a message, photos have achieved their meaning.
Photography continues to occupy a coveted place in our senses. Photography will always remain as something which people expect to see when they seek information, news or posts in a social-networking site. It has become an intricate part of our lives. The changes that are happening in the world today cannot be wholly or even partially attributed to photography, but in a very subtle way, it attempts to be a catalyst for change in human lives.