The Ganges, India, c 1915.


The Ganges, India, c 1915.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm


A snapshot photograph of pilgrims bathing in the River Ganges, India, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1910. The Ganges is a holy river for Hindus. Hymns and myths speak of the river waters as the god Shiva's divine essence. Bathing in the river is believed to wash away one's sins. Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera. The origins of popular photography can be traced back to George Eastman's [1854-1932] introduction of the first Kodak camera in 1888. Snapshots are informal, personal records of everyday life and experiences.

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© Kodak Collection / National Science & Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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