Is photography an art form, or not?
April 10, 2018
In this day and age, it is not uncommon to meet someone who is a photographer. There has never been a time before now in which there existed so many photographers. Does that mean that there are that many more artists in the world?
A good photographer friend of mine and I were discussing the technical side of photography one day and he tells me how photographers aren’t artists but technicians. I understand that you have to learn the technical side of a camera in order to use it well but the same goes for any art form. For example, a painter needs to learn many brush techniques to make a decent painting. A pianist needs to learn how to read notes, understand the scales, and learn how to carry your hands and fingers across the keys. I’m not saying all photographers are artists, definitely not. Some who pick up the camera are very adept at knowing the technical functions of how to use the camera and can come out with perfectly, well-exposed and tack sharp images but that’s all. Knowing the technical side is most certainly important. It is a skill to know your camera well and it’s very important to deliver sharp, well-exposed images to a client. Now, is the technical photographer considered an artist? If that photographer is only focused on the technical aspects when making the photograph, then no, that person is not an artist. Does that person also focus on light, composition, framing, moment, and mood? Okay, we definitely have an artist. Those things are the same things a good painter would look for. The thought process is the same, the tool is just different.
Here is some work from some amazingly talented photographers I cannot not say are artists: