Can a photographer be a full artist without personal post-processing?

Started 7 months ago | Questions thread
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 3,909
Re: Can a photographer be a full artist without personal post-processing?

fferreres wrote:

Fotoni wrote:

Many photo shooters in film age relied on development services and in digital age rely on camera's default picture profiles and maybe use some filters with presets. It is like you don't have a big control to the final look then. Yes, many think those are enough and have popular photos, but can you give your full vision, if you keep yourself so restricted? Shouldn't artist be very critical about their work and think what could be more interesting?

The art is usually not how to set up the camera, but in how to set up the scene, angle, and approach to it, usually including controlling the light (either directly, indirectly or by just waiting until nature gives the light we are after). If you notice, for example, most great landscape shots are dawn/dusk, this is the photographer controlling the lighting by just...waiting or planning. Usually, it's not the photo shooting that makes something great. Two photographers side by side...both being good and one outstanding, both would largely get the same thing.

What you describe is craft not art. Craft applies well-tested techniques in a competent manner to achieve a familiar desired intent. Art is usually about realising an intent that is not familiar, not well-defined, not just the result of competent crafting.

Many arts require a base of craft skills and knowledge. The art is something over and above the craft technique competency - a result that transcends the ordinary, familiar and mundane to portray insights and meanings previously not well-understood.

Photographers sometimes claim that their choice of frame and moment creates a transcendent understanding or insight. Personally I think this is a self-delusion. The 2D copy of the framed moment was created by the light falling on the scene photographed and the events in the world that gave rise to that light - not by the photographer. The photographer just used an automated machine to record what was already wrought "out there" by someone or something else.


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MOD Smaug01
MOD Smaug01
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