Photographer or Artist? Which are you, and can someone be both?

Started Mar 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,332
Re: Thanks for the responses!

SirLataxe wrote:

fwellers wrote:

Sirlataxe, you attach way to much importance to the camera in your comparison of photography to art.

Most of photography as art is done without the camera. It involves how one lives and breathes. What frame of mind one is in, how observant one is, how fluid, the list goes on.

Where to stand, and when to press, alone are huge elements of photography that have nothing to do with modern tech.

The camera IS just the brush.

Mr Wellers,

Well, we'll just have to disagree on that one.

I do understand that the perceptions of the human mind are the basis of art, whatever the medium. For me, the art has to remain largely those perceptions, re-envisioned to communicate something of significance to other humans.

No matter how you shrink the role of the cameras, software and other image-rendering machinery, it has to be admitted that the role of those tools is crucial. In practice, the designers of the hardware and software tools have a far greater effect on the perception of a photographic image than does the photographer's "where to stand and when to press". The camera et al are nothing like the primitive tool of brush or spatula; painters and sculpters must render EVERYTHING into their artefacts whereas photographers have all that work done for them by the machines.

.....And it isn't just the camera/printer that is automating the production of the photo. The photograhic image is essentially a COPY of reality made two-dimensional. The photographer (unlike the painter or sculptor) does NOT construct the content of the image. That is performed by nature; or by other artists such as architects, city planners or the human builders of historical artefacts.

When measured against the contribution of the technology used and the already-extant things being imaged, "how one lives and breathes" and one's "frame of mind" when pressing the shutter button seem insignificant.

Not to say that art cannot subsequently be rendered from photographic images if the photographer transforms the "mere" image/copy into something which means much more than the reality-copy itself.

As I say, we will just have to disagree about the importance of the human mind in the simple matter of capturing the initial image. But I will just mention that we modern humans can easily fall into a solipsitic mode, imagining ourselves making the world in our heads rather than just copying tiny bits of it.

Of course, to be an artist one necessary act IS "to remake the world", which is what painters, sculptors, poets, composers, novelists and other artists do; and we photographers do not. (Not before our employment of photoshop, anyway).

SirLataxe, never that impressed by Bishop Berkeley.

Dear Sir

I enjoyed your post and the points you make. I suppose I disagree but then that is probably just wishful thinking that despite all proof to the contrary, I am producing Art. My wife and daughters would be firmly on your side.

Mostly I have enjoyed wrestling with the Art Angel on this thread and will have to settle for enjoying the Art I produce in solitude.

And I will try not to cut off my ear and sending it to you

Ye Pal
Observing dreaming seeking

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