A video history of photography in 7 minutes

The word selfie was 2014's word of the year, according to the Oxford Dictionary.

We've all acknowledged the narcissism in that. What we haven't is how integral photography - which started out as a distinctly elite pursuit - has become to ordinary life.

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Our obsession with taking photos has reached epic - some say epidemic - proportions. We all take pictures. We document everything. And even as we debate the number of megapixels in our phone cameras with a newfound passion, we seem to have lost sight of how remarkable the gift of photography really is.

Taking a great photograph is an art.

Taking a photograph at all however is all about science.

It's chemistry and physics. It's an understanding of how light works. It's the amalgamation of a host of technological inventions - and a few accidental discoveries.

It took almost 200 years to arrive where we are today, where documenting our lives - our cups of coffee and our cats - feels as natural as breathing.

But it's not. It's a lot of science and a little bit of magic as this fascinating 7-minute video history to photography shows.

Watch. Be amazed. And keep taking pictures.

Video: Adiba Muzaffar.

Kaushik Ramaswamy

Kaushik Ramaswamy @kaushikramaswa1