Mathew Brady's Photography of the Civil War Essay

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Introduction Photography opened the world’s view. “Until 1839 the world was blind. Vision was limited to the immediate spectator or the art of the artist, but the rest of the world and history could not see” (Horan 3). People imagine things and do not believe it until they see it. Unless someone has really seen it they believe what they want. Mathew Brady showed people what war was really like. Before Mathew Brady’s pictures people thought that war was an adventure and fighting was honorable but they never knew what it was like. War was extremely violent and people did not realize this except the ones who had experienced it. When they saw the pictures of the war most people were appalled. “Mr. Brady has done something to bring home …show more content…
Before the War Mathew Brady was born in the year 1822 in Warren County, New York. His parents were Irish Immigrants named Andrew and Julia Brady. Little is known about his early life. Before his photography career he was a department store clerk and later opened his own small business manufacturing jewelry cases. He was on his way to Albany for reasons unknown when he met William Page, a painter, who introduced him to Samuel Morse. It was Samuel Morse who taught him how to take daguerreotypes, a type of photography in which you create a mirror image on a silver-surfaced copper plate. After he had mastered daguerreotypes he opened his own miniature gallery to show off his photographs. It was a successful gallery. He had won medals every year from 1844-1850. He had also begun photographing famous Americans, for example Edgar Allen Poe and James Cooper. Mathew Brady had very poor eyesight “but the role of the portrait photographer was to create the image that the camera would capture, and thus his failing eyesight was not a significant disability, and nobody found it odd that New York’s most famous photographer saw so poorly or that he protected his sensitive eyes with blue-tinted glasses…There was a clear distinction between the artist-photographer creating an image and the photographic operator who merely handled and processes the plate” (Armstrong 5). Even though his eyesight

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