During history, making a record of a given moment has not only become a daily habit, but also an art. However, in the beginning, this registration function was designed exclusively to prove facts that were previously engraved on stones, engravings, paintings, papyrus, among other registration supports. As civilizations developed, the record of this evolution began to be put even more into practice, thus, the creation of photography took place.

Currently, this practice has become so popular, that anywhere, or event, it is possible to find an individual with a camera, ready to record, photograph, save and share. Therefore, over the years, we have not only started to improve the act of handling the camera, but also in editing, manipulating the image and exposing the contents created by ourselves.

However, in this article we will discuss some sub-themes of photography, such as: its physical evolution, main precursors in history, the relationship between photography and art and we will also mention five great artists who stand out for their photography work.

In this article, we will also highlight the importance of this technology for our society. Photography is largely responsible for the emergence of cinema and television. The recording of moments works in society as a way of telling stories through photos, because when viewing an image, we automatically observe its production conditions, the time in which it is inserted, among other issues.

Therefore, we can consider photography as a way of telling stories, just like Timelinefy, because if you don't already know it, Timelinefy is a digital tool that not only tells stories, but also allows stories to be told in different ways and information to be organized in time, chronologically, through the structure of timelines. 

Because it is digital, the tool makes this activity a dynamic and interactive experience.

The evolution of photography

Etymologically, the word photography belongs to the Greek and its translation means “to draw with light and contrast”, therefore, upon reflection, the act of drawing would be linked to representation, as it is a technique that creates an image by exposure and fixes it on a sensitive surface.

The first photo that was recognized dates from 1826 (before the creation of video, cinema, among other technologies) and is attributed to the Frenchman Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. However, the invention of photography is not the work of a single author, but a process of progress accumulated by many people over the years.

If, on the one hand, the basic principles of photography were established decades ago and have hardly changed since the introduction of color photographic film, on the other hand, technological advances have systematically improved the quality of the images produced, thus simplifying the photography process, the production , cost reduction and the popularization of the use of photography, nowadays.

The first photograph taken by the Frenchman Joseph Nicéphore Niépce was taken by primitive techniques. Bathed in a tin plate covered with a photosensitive oil derivative called Bitumen of Judea, the image was taken with a camera and had to be exposed to sunlight for about eight hours. Nièpce called this process "Heliography", with recorded sunlight.

At the same time, another Frenchman, Daguerre, used a dark camera to produce visual effects in a technique called "Diorama". Daguerre and Niépce exchanged contacts for several years and finally established a partnership.

After the death of his partner Nièpce, Daguerre developed a process that used mercury vapor to reduce the development time from hours to minutes. This process is called a daguerreotype (related to the name of its creator).

Daguerre described his creative process for the French Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Fine Arts, and shortly afterwards applied for a patent for invention in the United Kingdom. The popularity of daguerreotypes led people to speculate about a possible "end of painting", which sparked discussions, thus resulting in the inspiration of impressionism (artistic movement).

However, Hércules Florence (another Frenchman) did better than Daguerre because of its negative effects. However, despite trying to spread his invention and being the first to resonate the word "photography", at the time he was not recognized. And soon after, his techniques were rescued by Boris Kossoy until 1976, and later, by the great company Kodak.

The company opened the doors for everyone through presentations in the market, launching new cameras, changing technology and techniques, promising that everyone could take pictures without the need for professional photographers, that's why it launched the camera and the film called "coffin" , with a replaceable and portable roller.

It is worth remembering the great importance of the Kodak company for photography, and the evolution of photos that have always been recorded in black and white. The first modern color film was Kodachrome, introduced in 1935 and based on three colored emulsions, this technique was based on the technology developed by Agfa-color in 1936. The instant color film was introduced by Polaroid, one of Kodak's best known models, in 1963, thirty years after the creation of the color film Kodachrome.

Technological advances in photography have made the technique accessible, and come to be considered the eighth art. In addition, printed photography has never become obsolete, even with the arrival of the digital image, photo printing is still quite recurrent.

Photography as an artistic expression

Yes! That's right, photography not only resisted long to be considered a form of artistic expression, but also established itself as the eighth art (after the seventh art, being cinema). Throughout its evolution, photography was still considered just an imagery record or a technology that “threatened” other forms of arts, such as painting, for example. One built by the imagination of the painters and artists of the time, who were unaware and afraid that the painting would become obsolete. However, this never happened, as both techniques conquered their spaces in society.

Late in 1970, photography became the bet of some artists, as it is a more resistant and easier to handle material. That was how countless artists began to express themselves through photography, although some say that many artists never participated in the real process of photography, but only in the idealization of everything and just after the photo happened.

5 great photography artists

Meet now some artists known for their great photographic works. Such personalities are considered artists, for looking beyond the lens of the cameras, focusing on certain situations, choosing protagonists for their photographs and marking history with their works.

Edgar Martins

Edgar Martins is a Portuguese photographer who was born in Évora, grew up in Macau and currently lives in Bedford, United Kingdom, his work recognized internationally, mainly for competing for major international photography awards. Although very young, the photographer has extensive experience and a sensitive eye on life and art.

Recently, the photographer was chosen in the category: “Still Life”, and for his photographic series, "Silóquios e Soliloquios on Death, Life and other Interludes", which represents a variety of letters and other objects used in crimes and suicides . The Still Life category is known at major events in the area, as it deals with photographs with non-living protagonists, being them objects of daily life or of a certain place. Edgar was also considered one of the best photographers in the world at this recent SONY photo award. Edgar Martins' work can be seen on his website, on which he makes available his extensive portfolio. See here.

Sebastião Salgado

Unlike Edgar Martins, the artist mentioned is now more accustomed to photographing living nature, being people, animals and specific situations.

Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado Júnior is an internationally recognized Brazilian photographer, born in Aimorés, Minas Gerais, in 1944. Among the Brazilian's outstanding works is the record in the Kuwaiti desert during the Gulf War, of a worker with his body covered by oil, looking dejected and hopeless. Salgado, after organizing all these photographs taken during the 90s, launched one of his precursor works in 1996, called "Workers", which led him to receive practically all the main photography awards in the world in recognition of his work.

Steve McCurry

Like Sebastião Salgado, the American photographer Steve McCurry was recognized by the famous image of the “Afghan Girl”, whose face was on the cover of National Geographic magazine, recognized all over the world. In addition to being a photographer who is part of the professional staff of National Geographic magazine, Steve presents an extensive work, in which he documents remarkable moments, spaces and faces.

It was his registration in Afghanistan that awarded him the “Robert Capa” award, as the best photo report, given only to the best photographers who show his exceptional courage and dedication in the profession.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Like other artists, Henri Cartier-Bresson was known for historical and memorable photographs. Henri became the first Western European photographer to freely record Soviet life. He recorded the end of Gandhi's life and the Chinese eunuch after the Cultural Revolution.

In the 1950s, several books with his works were published, the most important of which is “Imagesàla Sauvette”, the book's English title is “The Decisive Moment” (1952). In 1960, a large-scale exhibition was held in the United States, showing 400 works in celebration of the French photographer. It is also important to note that Henri was known for doing work with other precursor photographers, the main one being: Robert Capa, who will be presented in the next topic.

Robert Capa

Born in Endre Ernő Friedmann in Budapest, in October 1913, Robert Capa was a Hungarian photographer, considered one of the most famous war photographers, Capa reported the most important conflicts of the first half of the 20th century: the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Second European War.

Robert died in the Indochina War, in May 1954, when he stepped on a landmine. His body was found with his legs torn, but the camera remained in his hands. His work made him a world reference for photography and unlike other artists, Capa did not receive many awards in his lifetime, but gave his name posthumously, to major photography awards in the world.


Did you see how photography is so important to society? Not only for its ingenious features, but also for representing one of the countless forms of artistic expression. The history and the entire course of photography is very important for our personal knowledge, as well as essential for the formation and evolution of our contemporary world.