Photography gave people a very different perspective on life. Perhaps more than anything, photography shocked people by showing the horrors of war. Previously, war had occurred largely out of sight and out of mind. It was easier to give a false patriotic view on the glories of war. For example, from the Crimean war, we get Tennyson’s famous ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’
‘Cannons to the left, Cannons to the right’
We didn’t get pictures of mutilated corpses.
It was the American civil war, where photography started to become influential. The very new technology became widely used. Firstly families wished to take a family photo before their son went off to combat. Secondly, images of dead bodies on battlefields showed the tragic consequences of civil war.
Other images, have become iconic memories. As the saying goes ‘A picture paints a thousand words’
Some memorable photos that changed the world.
The Atomic Bomb
Hindenburg Burning 1937
The Great Depression
“Destitute pea pickers in California.” Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California.” – Source: Library of Congress
The human face of the Great Depression. See also: John Steinbeck who wrote about the great depression.