How Did the Invention of Photography Change Art?

According to Cornell University, because photography could record visual data better than an artist could, artists began to look for other emphases in rendering reality. This led to a number of modern movements in painting technique.

Instead of trying to copy reality, which a photograph could do much better, artists experimented with color, lighting, mass and form, according to Cornell University. By careful selection and alteration of visual material, the artist had the ability to emphasize, intensify or simplify his subject matter. Impressionism, for example, emphasizes light and its relationship with color and form. According to Cornell University, artist Claude Monet was one of the leading figures in the development of the Impressionism movement.

HumanitiesWeb points out that chronophotography, or what is now referred to as time-lapse photography, influenced the development of the work of Cubist and Futurist painters in the early 20th century. Photomicrography, or photos taken through microscopes or other instruments that magnify images, influenced painters such as Paul Klee in his experiments with naturalistic abstraction. Aerial photography enabled artists such as the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian to visualize geometric patterns in landscapes seen from the air, according to HumanitiesWeb. In these and other ways, innovations in photography led to new artistic movements in painting.