Photography as an art
Michael Prodger in his article at The Guardian pose the question in his title – Photography: is it art? So far it has garnered 288 comments and reactions from readers. The discussion is lively and generally divided into two camps: yes, photography is an art, and no, it isn’t. I will not add to the discussion but will give an overview of the two camps’ opposing line of thoughts. Those who say “ay” reasons that photography is a means of expression therefore it is art. It is the creation and capture of beauty therefore it is art. Sixteen of the most expensive photographs ever sold ranged from one to over four million US dollars therefore they are artworks. Those who say “nay” counters that photographers can make lovely pictures but if they are not artists they can’t make works of art. Anyone can take pictures but not everyone can create an image of artistic value. My take on all of these? The photographer can learn to be an artist. That is why we have techniques and fundamentals to hone the photographer in his craft and elevate his images into the realms of art. On the other hand, the artist who becomes a photographer has a built-in advantage because he already has a grasp on the basics like design elements and composition. Oscar Wilde defines art as “the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” Photography is subjective, intuitive, instrospective, instinctive and highly personal – all traits of individualism. On that note, photography is art.