The Importance of Photography in History Essay Example

  • Category: History,
  • Words: 585 Pages: 3
  • Published: 14 January 2022
  • Copied: 145

History can be recorded in many ways. Photographs are a great way to visually help people understand past events, which in a way, can help people see things through their own eyes. This day in history was recorded by individual people that can help us understand the event but can also alter our take on the story. The Berlin Wall, 1989, features a large demographic of people and groups. For the sake of a fair and just world, people must join forces and create history together. The actions and expressions of the people give us a chance to speak our minds on the change we’re making.  

When I first look at the picture, I notice three different groups of people. The crowd is full of males, there is not a female in sight. The largest group of people in the image is made up of civilians. They are located throughout the image and can also be seen surrounding and climbing the wall. Many of these people are capturing the events on camera, this was an honest shot from the public’s view. Behind the wall, appears to be a group of soldiers standing side by side. They aren’t distressed about what is happening in front of them, they are making no effort to diffuse the situation. What is occuring must not be shocking to these soldiers. There is also a group of police officers in the image, it looks like they are trying to gain control over the affairs. They are charging the wall from the right side. Some of the officers are wearing protective gear such as helmets while the others are dressed in uniform. None of these people seem to show much expression on their faces, it is hard to infer how they’re feeling. 

Looking at the photograph, I can see that some type of conflict has risen. A piece of the wall is lying on the ground, this is a focal point for the image. The civilians played a role in tearing down the wall, they are actively pulling the wall towards the ground and climbing atop, to damage it. For the wall to collapse, some foul play must have taken place. This is a sign of the community obtaining power as they unify a force. The image doesn’t balance with the actions of the people, there is a larger context to the whole story.  

The background of the people is fixed on the standing wall covered in graffiti. Although it is a negative sense of expression, people used their creativity to voice their feelings. This part of the image plays a huge role on the civilians, it is very conspicuous to the eye. Majority of the words and scribbles are hard to make out, some of the stuff is in a different language. The more I look at the picture, the more I can see words like “Troll,” “lost,” and “Tokyo,” I can also spot a couple half drawn hearts. The environment and the background both have a lot going on, they equally draw your attention. The appearance of the frame slightly clashes with the background. The light creates a gloomy aurora, which tells me it is close to winter. Bright colored graffiti illuminates the image and shifts the emotional state.

From what I’ve seen, I believe this is a truthful image. I also have doubts that there is a larger story to this image. When history is recorded through photographs, it is easy to manipulate the viewers in a negative manner. A larger scope could shed light on the events in a clearer way, it would be easier to analyze the image deeper as a whole. The little information in this image makes it difficult to devise a full interpretation.  


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