Photography in Ghana: Its effects on culture and tourism.

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July, 2009.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the history and development of photography in Ghana. Again, the study was to examine the role photography played in the promotion of Ghanaian Culture. Finally, the contribution of photography in the development of tourism in Ghana was also examined. The history of Photography was first looked at from a global perspective before bringing it down to Africa and then focused eventually on Ghana. Descriptive survey method which encompassed both qualitative and quantitative was applied. Three different questionnaires were designed and administered to respective respondents which sought to provide demographic data such as age, gender, duration of training and practice. Out of 1519 respondents, 1332 responses were received representing 87.7 %. Again, photo-laden promotional materials like posters, postcards, magazines, brochures were collected and studied. The results of the study were that photography was born out of an artistic urge, a foreign medium and a foreign culture to Ghana. Photography went through several revolutionary processes and procedures, that spans several decades, however, in 1839 Jacquires Menda Daguerre’s Daguerreotype was made public in France. The research further revealed that months after such public announcement the Daguerreotype got to Ghana (Africa) through sailors, missionaries and merchants that came ashore. By 1883, a Ghanaian (then Gold Coast), Holm, Lutterodt and others had established their own photo studios in Accra. One conclusion was that certain elements of culture captured in photo-laden materials offer greatest appeal and attraction to tourist for it has a strong visual appeal and proof. The principal conclusion according to the respondents was that visual photographs communicate more effectively and precisely than any other medium and therefore photography has had a positive impact in the promotion of culture and the development of tourism in Ghana.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in African Art and Culture