The Relationship Between War And Photography: The Significure Of 19th Century War Photography

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“One major factor in the development of photography around the world was the desire to record wars” (Liz Wells, 2015)

The relationship between war and photography is born from the desire to capture it. Although this desire is what connects the two, it is fundamentally the technology that dictates the subject matter of war. There are major differences in subject matter of 19th Century war photographers and today’s photographers. Restricted by the technology of the time, photographers had to capture other aspects of war, away from battle. As photography’s technology advanced, it increased the opportunities for photographers as to they how they captured the chaos of war, many times right in the midst of battle.
The invention of photography intrigued many. Individuals were driven to capture their life. They captured still images of the lives of others, to share, to record, to have as a memento. As photography began to flourish, war and the recording of it, captivated photographers. However, early war photography was disadvantaged by their inability to capture images instantly, as we do today. Photographers of the American Civil War resorted to capturing the
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These advances changed many aspects of photography. The use of photography in war was no longer as difficult as it had been in the past. Photographers were now able to capture moments in war that they were unable to do so before. Photography in the American Civil war was a more passive observation of the battlefield, documenting the result of war. In the 2oth century photographers took a more active role in documenting the chaos, they were able to shoot the conflict as it happened. With a more active role in conflict, photography became something to be utilised in the name of war. Not just documenting war itself, but aiding the war effort through its

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