Whether It's An Art Or Not..and My Thoughts On Photography.

There is a debate about whether Photography is actually an art form or not for a long time. Depending on the person we ask and whether or not he's used to this uncontrollable habit of clicking whenever he/she sees something that gets their attention, we might get different answers as well. The way I see it though it is an Art form (albeit an underappreciated one often) depending on the photograph and when it’s not at least it’s how some express themselves. Not everyone who takes a photograph has to be a professional or artistic but there are some whose photographs are if anything,a brilliant expression of something beyond the picture they take and I admire and adore them enough to hope to be a professional Photographer one day. This underappreciated expression of our emotions carries a magic of its own that a perceptive eye and mind can rarely escape like any masterpiece by Monet or Picasso. That alone should qualify it to be considered an art form. But Photography is not necessarily about ‘art’ as well, If you are good with how you take that picture you want to take, you can be an considered an artist and if you're not, you’re capturing and chronicling a time of your life you can always go back to when we look at those pictures. Remember looking at the picture of someone you lost and someone whose face you almost forgot when one day you happen to find it accidentally somewhere in the attic and there they are right before you. Their faces clear and standing still in that moment of time frozen and staring back at you from some sort of a time warp. There in that emotion, in that smile or that sigh that you can’t help but have on your lips and in that little sentimental walk through the memory lane is the intrinsic worth of that photograph which is beyond its artistic or monetary worth and I will dare say, no other medium can touch the strings of our heart like photography just because of that.

                                                                 Although I always loved photography my real love affair with it began when I started looking at the works of Ansel Adams,Atget,Bresson and the likes. That’s when I realized the power of the lens to capture something that's more than just a picture. Life itself seems to get caught in their film, whether it's a natural landscape of Yosemite Valley by Ansel Adams or an urban setting by Rodchenko or if it’s a simple act of a Man jumping over a puddle by Bresson or the streets of old Paris by Atget. Its life captured in a single moment and what would’ve been a brief glimpse in the flowing river of time and space turns into something more, both eternal and ethereal. Nothing gets me more than the ability of a single picture that rolls before our eyes a story that it inspires. A painting can do that too but I doubt if it can get as real and get as close to our intuitive mind like a picture does. Therein lays the power of the medium. A photograph’s ability to realistically record to artistically express and finally to emotionally involve and invoke the viewer is possibly unsurpassed and it is that characteristic that it passed on to the motion picture camera. Now I don’t need to try to make a point intellectually here. All I ask is, Can we imagine our time without movies? And here we are in the 21st century, surrounded and filled with pictures. We even learned to manipulate the pictures we take, possibly an indication of our time that reality isn’t enough and we yearn for something larger than life. But here we are still. In a world dominated by images and surrounded and drowned in images. Here’s an experiment, Look around and just whiten the place where photography is used and see how much white you’ll find. Yet I’m surprised that some of us still wonder if it’s art. Because if art is expression then all we need to do is look around us and ask ourselves how this world is expressing itself. If art is representation, then all we need to do is to turn a magazine page and see how a moving picture attracts us to read the content below it. I rest my case. But that’s not the point itself. Regardless of it being recognized as art or not, Photography is a beautiful way of telling a story, whether it’s of a place or a person’s life. That I believe is a privilege our little camera gave us and even if the picture we take with it is in a gallery or a small family album, our piece of life it contains turns into something much more and for that I can’t help but love it. I will end this with a quote from possibly the most recognized photographer ever, Ansel Adams.

   ‘Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs’.



                         -Photograph by Joel Meyerowitz in ProvinceTown.

 Thank you for reading.
                                                                
scribbles7 scribbles7
26-30, M
22 Responses Aug 13, 2010

Exactly Ison!..Simplicity is the fr<x>amework of a Genius..

Thank you for your words muddywaters.You made a very good point when you said that the ease of photography makes it seem less important.I agree with you 100 Percent.I can't fathom why regardless though.Just because it's something easy doesn't mean it that every one can do it.A good photograph is as complex as any painting or a sculpture there is.A good phorographer of course is the one who can make that happen just with a click. I'd love to see the pics you took if you like to btw Muddywaters! Thank you again for your comment :)

very well written piece! I think photography IS art, just as much as painting or sculpture or anything else traditionally considered art. It takes just as much skill to capture the image that will speak to a great number of people. Probably what drags it down is the fact that *anyone* can grab a camera and take thousands of pictures that aren't worth anything except to a select few people, whereas it's much harder to put a paintbrush to canvas or scuplt something of signficance. The ease of photography can make is seem less important - but we know it's not. To me, what makes the great photographers great is their skill in getting the best shot possible consistently. Anyone can go out and by sheer luck get an amazing picture or two over their lifetime; heck, we've all done that! The great ones know where to go, where to shoot, even how to arrange a scene to get the pictures that make people stop in their tracks and say "wow". Yeah, they also have their fair share of not-so-great pictures, but we don't see those. Some of that you can learn, but some of it you just have to be born with. I'm hoping I'm one of those!

I agree ison,Thank you for your comment.Not everyone who takes a picture is an artist.I've seen some of the works of Professional Photographers and couldn't help but feel that same even lolz!..

Hi HotnFresh, I agree with you completely.Like the comment before you,Art is pretty subjective and so depending on whether we like photography or not and also whether the person is good at what he does,It can be beautiful.

Hi Tom,That's one way of putting it.Thank you for your comment.i see what you mean.We can't expect a lot when we give a paintbrush to a child and the same will go for Photography as well i believe.In right hands,it can be amazing.Thank you for your comment Tom :)

Might I add as a trained architect/artist, who has been into photography since I was 10 (mid 1950's) <br />
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Photography is not art, but some artists use cameras.<br />
<br />
Tom<br />
tacaddy[at]gmail.com

Thank you,Sunshine :) i love art as well...my love for photography can be a derivative from Art i think honestly..but either way i love them both so much.

really good Analogy,SatinPanties..it's really amazing to see how photography makes us look back at our loved ones and evoke so many emotions isn't it?..it doesn't have to be art for that.<br />
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Very well said,lookatmine.Art is definitely subjective and if the person who takes the picture considers it to be art it should be taken as art (like or not is another matter)..Thank you so much for your wise words on that..

Light Recording (photography; l) can be an art form, and the picture doesn't have to be a copy of an old painting, or a posed statue. It is an art (skill) to record the things that go on around you so they become interesting to others. If you say you are an artist, then you are and if your method of displaying your art is through imaging, then your images are art.... TO you if to no one else. The word ART is so subjective.

Photography is to art as painting is to art.<br />
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I can paint my house yellow (not art) you can make a painting of my yellow house that inspires emotions (art).<br />
I can take a picture of my mother, out of focus and poorly lit and it will remind me till the day I die of her but mean nothing to anyone else (not art) You could take a picture of my mother that will evoke emotions, feelings, bring forth her life compressed into 1/1000 second but show how hard she worked, how much love she has for her children, for all who see the picture, including those who never met her. (art)<br />
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I love photography but I am not an artist with a camera. I envy those who are.

Thank you WondersbeyondourGalaxy...Thank you for taking time to read it and commenting on it.i really appreciate it. :)

You express yourself wonderfully scribbles7. I appreciate this story very much, thank you for taking the time to write it.

Thank you ImCrazy..I agree with you on that.i doubt anyone who knows photography can ever say it's not art really.. :)

Well written post. I agree, photography is an art and whoever disagrees needs to understand photography better :-)

Thank you for your comment Allaboutlaffs :)

Thank you so much for your comment,Dragoncat! I'm glad you like the story :) Your comment really provides an incredible insight to how hard it is sometimes to get the right Photograph.It's just not about snapping like probably a few would let themselves believe.it's about capturing what the photographer wants to express and thank you very much for pointing that out.Thank you again DragonCat. :)

lol no! i'd love to talk about photography Pixie!..Don't get quiet haha!

Scribbles, if anyone did not think of it as art before, I'm sure they will after reading what you have to say. Anyone can take a camera and snap off pictures...sometimes an artistic piece can come from this. But a true photographer has an uncanny eye that captures the mood of his subject that also includes the complete composition of every element in the foreground as well as the background. There are times when the lighting is "just right", that it transitions a normal everyday act into a work of art! The best photographers have a way of creating such photos... but there is another type, who just has the knack and timing to capture it --- at the moment it occurs! Those who have this skill have a love of photography... as do you!<br />
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Well written piece.

Thank you so much,Pixie :) Arthur Fellig is a really good photographer,Pixie.I totally love his work,Thank you for reminding me of him..His photographs gave us the idea about how the houses and streets of NYC really were.Strange thing one gathered from crime scene photographs yes?..

Thank you,Sweetie...i agree with you Photography is a definitely an art for me as well.i have had the same experience with how photographs bring some things into perspective..it just makes us look back at that thing in a completely different way..

Bravo , what a well writtened piece.... I am not a art expert by any means ... but I must say to me photographs are an art ...... to me art changes the way you view the world , makes you think and see "into " yourself ... and photos do that .. you can pass by a field everyday of your life and see its beautiful but never really SEE it .. then a photographer takes a photo of that same field showing you it through his eyes .. and suddenly , its new , its different .. and it tells you a story you never heard before ....okay Im done *giggles* bye =-D