Are we a bit misdirected?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
JosephScha
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Re: Are we a bit misdirected?
In reply to Gray Drake, 5 months ago

There was a very good article in today's New York Times that, even though it was supposed to be about a retrospective museum exhibit for a photographer including images from rolls of film he did not develop while still alive, actually it was about the long standing neurosis about whether photography is art or is it just a mechanical process that involves pressing a shutter button at the right time?

Is it art if the photographer carefully selects and prints his works?  How about if he just selects, but does not print his own work?  How about if he has died and has never seen the images that someone else will select and print?  Are the images still art, even though captured by a mechanical device?

The article went on to discuss Vivian Meier, whose box of negatives was discovered (purchased) after her death, so she didn't select or print - but the quality of her street photography made her well known anyway, posthumously.

In the end the article concludes that for the photographer in question, who didn't do much selection and did not carefully print his own works, having someone else select and print for the retrospective was not too far from the photographer's normal process.  For this photographer, the art was in capturing the image at the right moment.  And if we are willing to admit it in this case, it is clear that there is art in a picture captured at just the right moment to tell a story and convey emotions.  In short, we should not be neurotic about what makes a photograph art.  It is art if the photographer says it is.

Good. Now, beyond that, there is something to be said for having control over depth of field, color intensity, white balance, etc.  I've seen images posted hear that are remarkable for the photographic and post processing skill they demonstrate.  I've seen other images that are remarkable captures of a scene I will never personally see.   I appreciate them all.

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js

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