Photography, art or craft? Half a$$ed poll.......

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by jorge_gasteazoro|4, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. On a different thread a seemingly innocent question turned into the typical digital vs "traditional" thread. As if this was not bad enough, one of the arguments explaining the lower prices of ink jet prints was that they are mechanically reproduced, to which the digital camp counter that all photography is mechanically reproduced and that photographers are merely craftman. Funnily enough, apparently I was the only one taking the position that photography IS an art, albeit with some craft like elements.
    This being the LF forum I find this very puzzling, supposedly we represent the pinnacle of photography for lack of a better word, in an age of smaller and smaller cameras some which do not even require film, we are still lugging this heavy equipment because (supposedly) we care about the art and the quality of the work, yet I found most people on the other thread arguing that photography is no more art than the work done by the guy who fixes your shoes.
    Regardless of the differences of opinion and disagreements I would have thought this was a common belief among this group, that photography is an art. God knows I am not advocating that we all hold hands and sing Kumbayah or pat each other in the back, like most here there are some people I want nothing to do with and one I would not pi$$ on if he was on fire, but all this aside I thought there was one underlying thing that at least kept all of us coming back.
    So what do you all think? Art or craft? If you feel you need to qualify your response, do so, but the first word I would like to read is either art or craft, so I can take a "head" count sort of speak...
    I promise to stay out of this one, I simply want to know what is the general feeling of this forum.
     
  2. At its best, both, but all to often, neither.
     
  3. Art.
     
  4. Not sure. Never been sure.

    In fact I'd love to hear a strong and coherent argument as to why photography is art or why a photograph is a piece of art. Then I'd be able to sleep soundly at nights. I feel like it should be art, but I don't know why. And I've never been convinced of it.
     
  5. It can be both...
     
  6. Jorge,

    I usually don't respond to topics of this kind, since the consensus is usually irrelevant anyway. However, I do have some thoughts on this particualar topic:

    Firstly, "art" is a much misunderstood, misused and ambiguous term. In one sense, "art" means exactly the same as "craft" (indeed the latin "artis" just means "technique"). Take for example, "the art of motorcycle repair" or "the art of wood finishing", etc.

    However, I believe the sense you are getting at is "art" as a supreme achievement intellectually, spiritually and in craftsmanship. This is much harder to define. Where does one draw the line between merely competent and workmanly and a truly inspired artwork? Why is Mozart generally better than Salieri? Is a bad piece of music, photograph or painting still "art", just "bad art"? Is one person's "kitsch" still "art"? Is it "art" if it gets into a gallery?...

    Rather than try to come up with a working definition of art, let me simply state my opintion that, somewhere along the continuum between mere craftmanship and a supremely insightful, sublime and inspiring expression, there is a point where a created work becomes "art".

    Therefore, any creative discipline contains elements of both "craft" and "art". Are line illustrations for a medical text "art"? Probably not, just competent drawing. Are Dürer's illustrations "art"? They are certainly recognized as such. School portraits probably qualify more as "craft" than "art", however, Annie Liebovitz, Richard Avedon and others have elevated photographic portraiture to what is commonly accepted as "art".

    The real question here is: Are we not only good enough craftsmen (craftspersons??) but also educated, insightful, creative, motivated and sensitive enough human beings to be able to cross the threshold from "craft" to "art" if that is our desire? I imagine that recognition in this respect is reserved for the few who are harder working and superiour intellects. Not everyone can be a Mozart. Most of us, no matter how hard we try, will remain shackled to mediocrity. Should that stop us? Of course not. We should always keep in mind however, that aspiration and inspiration do not always coincide. Greatness is the result of many factors, talent and hard work are principle among them, but culture, education and exposure all play roles as well. I believe most of us think of "art" as an expression of this "greatness" in some way. This automatically reserves the successful artworks to a very small percentage.

    I try to make "art" with my photography. When I had a job copying artworks for museum catalogs I considered myself (in that capacity) merely a craftsman. Creating an artwork has inherently more individual communication in it as well as some attempt at universal insight and intensity (much more as well, but here we are back to trying to define "art").

    So, in conclusion I must answer: Yes. Photography is craft and, in the hands of a creative master it can become art.

    Maybe we should stop thinking in terms of "either/or" and, pardon the pun, black and white.

    Regards, ;^D)
     
  7. stb

    stb

    For me, photography is at its best when used as a medium. When created as an
    object, it does not do anything to me. Much of the contemporary photography I see in
    galleries leaves me stone cold.

    The photographer isolates a piece of what surrounds him and transmit it to the world.

    For me, Art is creation. Photography, being a selection of things already created, is
    therefore not Art.
     
  8. I am hoping that in my case the mastery of one (the craft) leads to the creation of the other (art). I do enjoy the "craft" part, the learning curve in relation to film, chemicals and gadgets. I love these toys. But if I did not feel that these tools led to something which I felt was my artistic expression of life then I would get bored with these toys fairly quickly.

    I believe that most things that "create" can be artistic if done from the soul. Unfortunately, there is so much more of the other kind of work.
     
  9. A crafty art, an arty craft....but what's in a name or label?Call it what you like...it changes nothing.
     
  10. Both...but the craft is more fundamental. You have to master the knobs and dials before you can make them speak for you. And most photography is craft and none the worse for it. I received loads of thanks recently for some photos taken at an in-laws family party. A straightforward job - pick the right lens, point the camera and get them to look natural. Pure craft. And that is what most people want from photography. Art is probably more what the photographer wants.
     
  11. About that "art is a creation" ... would that translate also to a "creation is art"?

    If one agrees that art requires visualization, then why photography would not fall into this category? Those who disagree must see photography as nothing else but copying of what's aroud us. Is that it? Do we look at the scene from different perspectives, at how shadows fall, at how or where moving subjects place themselves, do we wait for the right time to click the shutter, DO WE - FOR GOD'S SAKE - COMPOSE WHAT WE SHOOT? Isn't this process part of "creating" something others may not see? Wouldn't this be art in its actual sense?

    There is a lot of so called art out there, absolute majority of such created outside photographic medium. It's hardly anything more than a brainless garbage. I'm often glad I stuck with silver process to express my feelings.

    Art or craft? Really makes no difference to me if someone wants to argue this.
     
  12. BOTH. I believe that at it's best, it's both an art and a craft. One might argue that because photographers don't "paint" the image onto the film or paper in some manual way, that it can't be art. I believe the process of selection is as much art as actual manual creation of picture elements. The photographic artist has a great free rein in lens selection, point of view, filtration, waiting for the right light, alteration of contrast range through zone system application and selection of taking aperture and shutter speed. In the darkroom, the photographer uses an entirely different set of tools. Through masking, paper grade selection, exposure, development proceedure and toning, to name a few, the artist can further manipulate the raw material into the finished product. All of these controls make up the craft of photography just as drawing, proper brush selection, knowledge and application of painting mediums and proper color mixing technique to name a few, make up the craft of painting. I think "seeing" is the real critical element in any art that is visual. All art involves mastering a set of tools. Authors and composers have to master tools. Sculpters have a set of tools to master. Yes, even the digital darkroom involves learning to use a set of tools. So, for that reason I maintain that there is an element of craft in all artistic endeavors. As to what is art? Well, that's another discussion. But, for me, art (whatever it is) is not much good without craft.
     
  13. Who knows? Who cares?
     
  14. Photography is BOTH art and craft. Art in seeing potential images, and in visualizing how that potential can be converted into strong visual statements. And craft in dealing with the technical issues involved in exposing film, making prints, matting and framing, etc.

    The same can be said of other forms of visual art. Michaelangelo is aguably one of the most profound artists of all time, and yet there was an awful lot of craft involved in painting the Sistene ceiling, or hacking a statue of David from a ratty old chunk of marble. I'll bet his collection of chisels would have made even Norm Abrams jealous.

    Louie
     
  15. In the hands of a skilled practitioner photography is a floor wax, but through the divine inspiration of genius it becomes a dessert topping.
     
  16. "So what do you all think? Art or craft? If you feel you need to qualify your response, do so, but the first word I would like to read is either art or craft, so I can take a "head" count sort of speak..."

    Both. Sometimes only one or the other.

    A snapshot,catalog,news or fashion all start with craft. They can rise to art but usually that's not the point.

    Other times it's the exact opposite. It starts with Art and the craft element isn't that important. The vision matters more then the craft elements.

    Oh and "Master" Norm only likes things that plugin. If you've seen how he treats the chisels he has you know he'd never appreciate a good chisel and I hope he never touches one.
     
  17. BOTH.

    Photographers are just another craftsperson. Some are more skilled in their craft than others. That does not make them an artist.
    Some have an "eye" that others don't, and it has little to do with skill. Some have skills (craft), and an "eye". Often these people are referred to as "talented".

    Art, is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  18. Depends on who takes the shot and then who looks at it. To be art, it must make a large leap ahead of most others works and then stand the test of time. tim
     
  19. both! How many color photographers do you know that do not understand the scale of their film? Though they may be great artists, on occasion they fail due to technical (craft) limitations.
     
  20. ??? FUN! Its all fun, from loading holders to packing my my kit and setting the f-stop to watching a print appear in the soup. I'll let the viewer call it whatever they want, I'll call it FUN!;-)
     
  21. From my point of view, art is in the moving. When some one is moved, its art (at least to those moved). When no one is moved, its not (art). I have never understood the commonly proliferated idea that art is in the creation. IMO, a painting is no more considered art by the virtue of its creation than a photograph, sculpture, 3D work with animal dung or whatever. One persons masterpiece is a work of revulsion to others, ala the infamous "Piss Christ". Art is in the moving, and last time I checked, most people if asked, will recall having had moving experiences with photographs. So is photography art? It can be, just like any other artistic medium.
     
  22. could be one or the other but most of the times it is just a redundant cliché of either
    / or ...
     
  23. It is both, but timing is the critical variable. Early on it is the mastery of the craft that drives the process with modest attempts at art. This is evidenced by the reading and copying what others have been successful with concerning films, chemistry, darkroom technque, equipment etc. etc. etc.

    When hard work, experience and dedication result in finding your expressive skill set, now the pivotal "art" sequence either begins or one simply stays at the craft point stagnating and wondering what to do next. I call this the pretty picture syndrome and many times it (rightfully)causes reality to set in and a regression to 35mm or 6x7 takes place. And that can be a very good thing. Nothing worse than a sharp photograph of a fuzzy concept as Ansel is quoted as saying. Without emotion or an ability to enter the emotional variables of the realm of true expressive art it is wasted energy and when mental frustration sets in. Just my $0.02.
     
  24. I think!, there for it's Art!
     
  25. (Craft.)

    In contrast with the agnostics who turn off their brains and refuse to think and refuse to know, in order to determine whether photography is an art, we must first consider what art is. What is the essential characteristic of painting, sculpture, novels, poetry, and so forth that make them art?

    Art, properly defined, is a selective recreation of reality according to how the artist views reality, specifically, whether reality is benevolent or malevolent and what parts of reality he thinks are important. Art must be selective in that the artist has only a fixed amount of his medium in which to make a statement, so he must choose which aspects of reality to include and which to omit. He includes those things which are important to his view of reality and omits those that are nonessential. What an artwork represents must correspond in some way to reality, not life in another dimension, because a statement about living in another dimension is of no use to those of us living in this dimension, i.e. in reality.

    Photography consists, primarily, of recording reality verbatim. When the photographer triggers his camera, his camera records exactly what is in reality, no more, no less. There is a degree of selection he can employ, and there is a degree to which he can exercise a certain kind of artistic selection through deciding where to point his camera and the use of lenses, filters, B&W vs color, and so on, but the photographer is ultimately restrained by the section of reality before him. He cannot edit; he cannot include something which is not there nor remove something which is there.

    And the entire point of art is to show what reality *could* be, not what it is. Suppose I am a painter, and my painting prominently features a beautiful woman, but in order to make her `more real,' I include some unsightly blemish on her face. This destroys my entire artwork. If art is to show what reality could be in its best form, if art is to give its viewers emotional fuel with which to carry on their lives, my representation of reality must show it as being perfect, for although real women may have facial blemishes, that fact is not essential to a benevolent view of reality.

    This is precisely what a photographer cannot achieve by the nature of his craft. If a power line is in the way, he cannot remove it. If he should like a tree at so-and-so a position in the frame, he cannot add it. This is the essential difference between photography and art, and to deny the difference and group photography together with painting and sculpture is to obliterate the value of art in general.
     
  26. Art: When coming from the hands of a master like Adams.

    Craft: When coming from most Photo.net posters.
     
  27. I agree with George. If the item in question whether it's a photo, painting, piece of music or a sculpture moves the viewer or conveys the emotion of the artist, then it's art. All artists are craftsman. Whatever the medium, the artist must be at least competant if not a master of his or her craft to effectively communicate the message.
     
  28. On reflection, I think I would have to say that No, photography isn't art. But qualify that by saying it isn't quite art. That is, it only just fails to be art.

    I am afraid I can't quite agree with the idea mentioned several times that if it evokes emotion therefore it must be art. Kitsch can evoke emotions (very powerful ones, as anyone who has studies the history of Nazi Germany must know, for example), as can a Barbara Cartland novel or and advertisement for the Labour Party, but rarely could any of them be considered art.

    Sidney's post seems to come closer to the mark - the failure of photography on the whole to be a unique creation. Photography most often selects, frames and (merely?) quotes from appearances. In semiotic terms, artistic forms such as painting or drawing or music have a unique language of their own. Photography, by contrast, has an incomplete or at best a half-language. Which, however, is the point at which I believe photography comes very close to being art. The ambiguity of the half-language of photography and the discontinuity caused by it's particular choice of "quotation" is what so often gives a photograph it's power, and what does evoke emotion. But it is never new and unique enough to carry a photograph over into the realm of art.

    Which leads me to think that perhaps an this way photography is unique. Something (more than) half way between being a craft and an art. A craft that at it's best is able to convey a strong sense of meaning and depth and emotion (far more, I would say than any other craft), but which is still not quite art. But perhaps something especially unique.
     
  29. " If he should like a tree at so-and-so a position in the frame, he cannot add it."

    Why not? Didn't photographers prior to the use of pan film have stock clouds to add to photographs? Stock trees would hardly be any harder. Ever seen a fake photograph? You're arguing the craft is lacking. That's not art. Yet I'm holding a photograph that totally distorts the reality of the scene when it was taken. If I can do it so can anybody.

    Or do you think this model was born this way?

    http://www.zabriskiegallery.com/KIKI%202002/mr43459.html
     
  30. " Or do you think this model was born this way?

    http://www.zabriskiegallery.com/KIKI%202002/mr43459.html "

    Now that's art! - of course there is a big difference between an artist using photogprahy and a photogpraher who wants to be an artist...
     
  31. "Photography consists, primarily, of recording reality verbatim"

    "When the photographer triggers his camera, his camera records exactly what is in reality, no more, no less".

    "He cannot edit; he cannot include something which is not there nor remove something which is there".

    ... and the rest of that post ...

    What kind of BS is this?

    1. Hardly photography records reality verbatim. It's up to the photographer how much it falls short of that "verbatim" if you so choose to call it.

    2. With the exception of some rare scenes, tonal range of photographic materials does not allow to record EXACTLY what is in reality, there is usually something missing right out of the box. This can be further altered by the photographer during exposure.

    3. This goes then to the darkroom for further possible alterations, it all depends on the photographer. It's up to him where he takes his negatives, as long he mastered his craft - sky is the limit.

    Furthermore, who said art MUST not reflect reality as it is? What does this have to do with qualifying something as art?

    It seems to me that those ranting on "photography is art" see this medium as TOO easy to record an image, thus not as tedious, thus cannot be art because it must take sweat and skill like abilty to draw/paint etc. Try then for yourself to visualize a scene, as you think it "should" look given your art formula, and then go ahead and do it in silver process. Then come back and tell us about it.
     
  32. Is it fine art? It can be, but I think that distinction is best left to the viewer. To me,
    art isn't created for the benefit of the creator, and as such I tend to distrust anyone
    who looks at his own work and based on one thing or another declares himself an
    artist. Some people I know have declared me to be an artist, and if they consider me
    such, that's fine, but I'm not really too comfortable with that distinction, personally.

    On a larger scale, though, I definitely think that as a whole, photography is every bit
    an "art" as painting, sculpting, writing, etc. It has the potential to be beautiful, to be
    moving, and so on. Most photographs aren't, but then neither are most "fine art"
    paintings I've seen.

    So yeah, I guess my answer is this: it depends.
     
  33. One of a book definitions of art, that I see supports "photography as art" is this:

    "high quality of conception or execution, aesthetic value"

    I agree that a piece becomes ART at the receiving end. Self claimed artists are usually not.
     
  34. Well, not precisely the responses I expected but here is the count so far: 5 think is art. Good to know at least some people here think like I do.
    3 think is craft. Although I disagree, I thank you for your answers.
    17 think is both. More on this later.
    1 does not know.
    3 could not resist being smart asses....emphasis on the ass part.
    Most of the people who thought it was both, qualified their responses by saying that in the right "hands" photography can be an art. Isn't this true for all arts? If you had to pick a choice and your life depended on it, what would it be? art or craft?
    IMO it is not surprising that photography has a hard time being accepted as art, when the people who supposedly care for it the most and put the most care doing it think is mostly a craft.
     
  35. "Jorge Gasteazoro posted a response to a thread in the photo.net Large format photography Forum on which you registered an alert:
    ----------------

    Subject: Response to Photography, art or craft? Half a$$ed poll.......

    Well, not precisely the responses I expected but here is the count so far:

    5 think is art. Good to know at least some people here think like I do.

    3 think is craft. Although I disagree, I thank you for your answers.

    17 think is both. More on this later.

    1 does not know.

    3 could not resist being smart asses....emphasis on the ass part."

    How does that saying go; "ask a stupid question..."?

    Without be ass..anine - the answer for many really is in the Man Ray photograph (who was very muich an artists who used the camera) - if he applied the sound holes to the model before hand, it's a photogprah. If he applied them to the print afterwards, it's art.

    That said, I don't think it's the paractitioners who decide if it's art or not, it's wider society as a whole, and the art community in particular who make that decision.
     
  36. Well this horse has been beaten for a good 150 years or so, and I would have thought it dead for at least thirty. Do I have an opinion as to the answer? Yes. Is it interesting. No, that horse really is dead.
     
  37. How does that saying go; "ask a stupid question..."?
    Without be ass..anine - the answer for many really is in the Man Ray photograph (who was very muich an artists who used the camera) - if he applied the sound holes to the model before hand, it's a photogprah. If he applied them to the print afterwards, it's art.

    I see, you have managed to define art all by yourself, bravo! glad to know you speak for all those "many."
    That said, I don't think it's the paractitioners who decide if it's art or not, it's wider society as a whole, and the art community in particular who make that decision.
    I know you are an erudite and it most be an excruciating pain to read my stupid question and comments, so why dont you do me and the rest of the forum a favor and simply refrain from responding them, after all let me assure you that my feelings towards your posts and responses are similar.
    So at this point, regarding your last paragraph...I couldn't care less what you think..
     
  38. It's doubtful whether Mr Grabiec deserves a response what with his labelling my position as `bullshit' and with his context dropping, but I'm going to respond anyway.

    (1) I said photography recorded primarily verbatim, I said there are artistic elements available to a photographer, and I explained why they did not elevate photography to the level of art. You do not address this point.

    (2) Again, the fact that photography is not *literally* verbatim does not change the fact that it is *primarily* verbatim. The decision to record one range of tones over another is simply a decision on par with where to point your camera, i.e. which section of reality to record.

    (3) Your assertion that anything can be made from any negative is bizzare and deserves no further comment.

    (4) Why must art not reflect reality as it is? Go read some of the bowel movements which Steinbeck wrote down on paper and called novels in the course of his life. His disgusting books are the logical conclusion of the ideas implied by your question.

    If I had to summarise the difference between art and photography in ten seconds or less, I would do so as follows: Can you make a cloudy day clear or a clear day cloudy, perfectly, in every possible respect? A painter can.

    At length, it comes down to this: you can wish, hope, desire, or believe alone or in combination with the rest of mankind, but the fact that photography and painting are fundamentally different will remain utterly unaffected.
     
  39. Jorge,

    You ask the question is photography art or craft and launch a poll to aquire the answer.

    You continue to assert that photogprahy is art - but as far as I can tell that is all.

    But what is your argument for this being so? From your own work and experience, what is it that convinces you photogprapy is art (beyond just saying so)? That it is mopre than a mere craft?

    I'm honestly interested in know why you believe photogprahy is art - having launced the poll, perhaps you could go ahead and give your reasons why you believe photogpraphy is art?
     
  40. If I read everyone else's reply, I'll fall asleep right here.

    BOTH.

    Mechanically reproduced? If all of your prints of one neg look the same, something is wrong. Maybe you lost your dodging tools and have your hands tied behind your back. And use an automated enlarger and an automated processor. And have perfect temperature and chemical control (no, not a bad thing).
     
  41. "Photography consists, primarily, of recording reality verbatim"

    "When the photographer triggers his camera, his camera records exactly what is in reality, no more, no less".


    "He cannot edit; he cannot include something which is not there nor remove something which is there".


    -Someone who has NEVER shot black and white.
     
  42. "If I had to summarise the difference between art and photography in ten seconds or less, I would do so as follows: Can you make a cloudy day clear or a clear day cloudy, perfectly, in every possible respect? A painter can."

    That's craft and not art. But to answer your question. Have you ever seen a movie? You know a collection of photographs all strung together. Do you think when they are waist deep in snow it's really 30 below?

    Have you ever seen a painting of the Loch nest monster shaking hands with Yeti? I saw a pretty good picture of it in the National Enquirer. Is that Art?
     
  43. Is anyone else struck by the apparent irony that those who seem to argue most forcefully for photography being art also seem to be those who appear most caught up in the minutiae of the craft? As well as appearing to be most unaware of art history, art theory, critical art discourse and so on?
     
  44. "Most of the people who thought it was both, qualified their responses by saying that in the right "hands" photography can be an art."

    Not the right hands but the results define it.

    "Isn't this true for all arts?"

    Yes.

    "If you had to pick a choice and your life depended on it, what would it be? art or craft?"

    I'd have to see it to decide. The same way putting paint on a brush doesn't create art neither does anything else. It's what you end up with.
     
  45. Thanks all for your answers. All least those of you who were kind enough to take it seriously and provided me with your insights, they are valuable even if I disagree with some of them.

    Unfortunately I see this thread is also going down hill, as many others in this forum seem to do lately. I have gotten the information I was looking for and if nothing else it has helped me re-evaluate the importance of this forum for me.

    Again, thanks all and as far as I am concerned there in no need to continue with the answers to my question.
     
  46. It's been my observation that those who make a distinction between their works being art or craft are good at neither. When the terms are used in arguments one seems to relate to the lofty ideal and the other the practical use of your creative efforts. They are the two sides of the same coin; one incomplete without the other.
     
  47. Photography is not art

    AN ARTIST uses photography/craft to produce art

    And to think that photography is nothing more than isolating is absurd, the ability to alter the subject before the lens is too great for such simplification--even before digital came about.
     
  48. Hi Jorge. Got to the party late as usual.

    ART! When it is. Mostly it isn't. Artists will make art no matter what tool they work with. Photography certainly can fall within that realm. In fact it's one of the more demanding mediums having all of that tedious craft to master first so that the art can in fact shine through. I can see why the computers are an enticing shortcut for those that either cannot or will not do the work but yet want to be creative in this medium.

    Two or three times a year a musical piece will take hold of me and I have to return to it over and over. Sometimes it's jazz, and sometimes it's Celtic. It always has human genius. Usually the grip can bring tears. And I think to myself, I want to get to the place where my pictures can cause that same reaction in others. I knew when I started this it wouldn't happen overnight. Just within the last month it seems like the 8X10 is beginning to get lots of home runs. I'm hopeful.

    CRAFT! I make my paycheck taking pictures of Atomic Bombs. Hardly art. But my customers are getting what they paid for. At work I can make 8,000 pictures in one second. And I can keep that going for several seconds. That's a lot of pictures. I'm glad I don't have to look at all of them. (Although it is pretty cool looking at some of them) Personal work, 1 picture in 1,000 seconds is a good pace.
     
  49. computers ARE NOT a shortcut to quality of craft, regardless of whether you are all digital or a combination of the two. I see way too many images here and elsewhere that prove this statement.
     
  50. AN ARTIST uses photography/craft to produce art
    Mark *, IMO this is the smartest response so far. Yet, if I understood the responses correctly, the concensus seems to be that if you are doing photography you can only be considered a craftman not an artist.
    Jim, glad you chipped in. Better late than never...:)
    ART! When it is. Mostly it isn't. Artists will make art no matter what tool they work with.
    Funny, Mark and you gave the same response almost back to back. Yep, like you I think of the camera as only a tool, which can be used for art or craft, depending on the person's aim. But as I said above it seems that regardless of the intentions it is not so. I am really surprised these are the feelings about photography that this forum has.
     
  51. Craft,

    But very seldom elevated into the realm of art.
     
  52. Hello Jorge,
    This question came up in a slightly different form not too long ago. I posted to that one and I'll post here as well. As I noted in that posting, there seem to be as many different opinions as there are those who post them, a little like questions concerning religion. Your question, "Photography, art or craft?" is simply answered: in itself? no, it is a mechanical-chemical process for taking pictures, for this discussion using a camera and film, like typing is a mechanical-chemical process for writing using a typewriter. To use either requires some skill, but the result isn't necessarily well-crafted, or a piece of art. Can using photography result in art; is there craft? Yes, I think the practioner can develop craft, and can produce a piece of art. Cameras have been used to produce well-crafted pictures, and on occasion, pieces of art. Currators and collectors have said photographs can be appreciated as art, and buy them, display them as such; people have even bought some of my prints to hang on their walls. It seems to me that most of the people who participate in this forum strive to be good craftsmen, with a desire to utilize craft to produce work that communicates their vision, ideas, and feelings to the viewer. I think we do it because we enjoy it, like John said, "its fun", and in some cases, because we are compelled to do it. But, I think in many cases, we also want for others to connect with our work, and to get something from what we produce. It happens on occasion, even if it isn't celebrated as "great art" or makes the cover of Time magazine. You produce a photograph that is something special. Others like your work, understand what it took to make it, appreciate the craft, and connect with your idea, or vision. So maybe the photographer produces a work of art? I like to think so.
     
  53. So maybe the photographer produces a work of art? I like to think so.
    Pretty much along the lines of what Mark and Jim are saying, to which I agree. Undoubtedly there has been many great responses both pro and con. Thanks for your response Nick.
     
  54. It can be both or nearly just one or nothing. I suppose we have to discuss it picture by picture. As a German I 'm forced by law to stress my intense as an artist, because the photographers guild would take me to court if I 'd call myself a craftsman, whithout apprenticeship or master diploma.
     
  55. “Is anyone else struck by the apparent irony that those who seem to argue most forcefully for photography being art also seem to be those who appear most caught up in the minutiae of the craft? As well as appearing to be most unaware of art history, art theory, critical art discourse and so on?”

    These very same thoughts were bothering me for quite a while. This was a priceless comment.
     
  56. My Dad once said: "Art is craft that's gone to college".

    Someone once asked me the difference between electricity and electronics; I responded similarly that electronics is electricity that's gone to college.

    ART = CRAFT + ARTISTRY

    I can "perfect" my craft of composition, exposure, development and printmaking; that doesn't make me an artist. However, were I an artist, I would be using the full gamut of learned craft in application to the overall goal of art-making.

    Okay, here's my latest theory:

    Art is what photographers do when they live near either coastline; craft is what the rest of us in-landers do.

    VanCleave's 1st Corralary: "The ratio of art to craft in any photograph is directly proportional to the proximity to the nearest high-priced gallery".

    Or some such hog wash.
     
  57. "The ratio of art to craft in any photograph is directly proportional to the proximity to the nearest high-priced gallery".
    LOL....He might be onto something...lol...
     
  58. Jorge, I know that on this forum it is not important to have one’s images up, but in your case I am dieing to see some of your artistic efforts. Could you direct me to a gallery website or other venue so I can see it for myself? That way I could comprehend what ART is!
     
  59. Dont have any images on any website, and your education is one of the many things I dont give a rat's ass about....
     
  60. You have to recognize Irony, as it is similar to knowing the difference between Art and Tedium. I really like to know if you have any time for photography, because it seems you wouldn’t have any between making your own film and sitting on the computer fighting anyone who disagrees with you. You might as well learn Photoshop and that would be time much better spent!
    If you are a devoted photographer, then you should share your Craft with others to enjoy.

    I do want to see your work!
     
  61. If you are a devoted photographer, then you should share your Craft with others to enjoy.
    whatever bubba.....
     
  62. I seriously doubt that you are doing any photography at all. I guess you just like to play with your friends’ cameras and try to sell yourself as a devoted practitioner. Now I realize that it is merely a fancy flight of your imagination! Let me know when you expose your first sheet of film and that how it worked out for you. Only when you are ready though, and above all send me a print!

    Interestingly, you stated at the beginning that; “I promise to stay out of this one, I simply want to know what is the general feeling of this forum.”

    What happened, can’t you sleep?
     
  63. I seriously doubt that you are doing any photography at all. I guess you just like to play with your friends’ cameras and try to sell yourself as a devoted practitioner. Now I realize that it is merely a fancy flight of your imagination! Let me know when you expose your first sheet of film and that how it worked out for you. Only when you are ready though, and above all send me a print!
    LOL......you are amusing.
     
  64. I really don't think "photography" can be classified as one or the other.

    When I began, I (as I'm sure many of you did) started out as what i consider a "craftsman". I tried to find pretty subjects and take literal pictures, hoping I could accurately record them.

    Then i realized that my pictures didn't convey any more emotion or provoke any more thought than the actual location did. i was simply using a craft to record what i felt and saw.

    So, I did research after research and found that i could manipulate my camera settings to do slide montages, multiple exposure images, and more. I DO create! i create places and scenarios that can never be seen elsewhere. There is an element of emotion in my pictures that was not at the location when I shot the pieces of the compilation.

    Can anyone argue that photographers who create entirely new visions on a light table or in the dark room are not artists?

    I do feel that photography can be both, with some photographers leaning one way or the other. I have seen some beautiful artsy compositions where the lighting and exposure were so off that it killed the mood. This, to me, is photography is an art by a person who lacks skills of the craft. I have seen beautiful recordings of very pretty places. This, to me, is a craft...albeit by a very skilled craftsman.

    My favorite photographs are a mix of the two, but that's not to say all photography contains both. However, in order to convey the art of photography, there is an inherent need to be skilled as a craftsman.
    Anyway, that's my opinion.

    Melissa :)
     
  65. I agrree with you that photography is a kind of art! USe
    http://royalediting.com/best-advice-how-to-craft-perfect-paragraphs
    and check information about craft perfect paragraphs!
     
  66. Photography is a medium like paint is a medium.
    Almost anyone can put paint on a surface just like almost anyone can capture an image with a camera.
    Few can use their medium to create artistic masterpieces like American painter Asher Brown Durand or American photographer Ansel Easton Adams.
     
  67. almost 13 years later, and my POV hasn't changed.
    there is a lot of photography masquerading as one or the other
    and a lot of the time it isn't either, its just photography.
     

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