photography has been slowly dying since george made it possible for everyone and his uncle to have and use a camera. it is no longer an science-based art form where people mix raw chemicals bought at the neighborhood apothecary/druggist, practice dangerous methods of coating+processing plates, and use papers from overseas if they are not made from scratch.
photography until recently has always been a hands-on affair, where the photographer not only made the exposure, processed the film, made the paper-print, but retouched negatives, hand-tinted, intensified, removed, scraped, graphite-dusted, masked, sharpened, combined elements from other negatives, "montaged" &C negatives and prints. mini-labs, pro-labs, photo-kiosks, and now scanners and computer programs have changed photography from a hands on affair to something completely different, more of a leisure art where the photographer pushes a button (camera), and the rest is done for him through the aid of a robot or drone.
yes, photography is dying, but it will be a slow death.
silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
artwork often times sold for charity
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While not always true...generally, art is 'valued' based on aesthetic value (there are great images, paintings, drawings, etc. and there are poor ones), craft (how good is the quality, how difficult to craft (this may get to the digital vs. analog debate) and historical value (i.e. what tools were avail then, was the technique, craft, imagery ahead of its time?). What I see, is very few 'educated' art viewers....in these respects. Mind you, I am not trying to be 'snobby', but some have no clue as to the difficulty of the craft, the creativity necessary for the aesthetic and the historical impact. No, I don't believe photography as an art is dead, quite the contrary. I think art in and of itself, is dying...as a result of education. Art taught in schools is on the decline and has been.
It's interesting to me as I have attempted various forms of art, or viewed others at their craft (my wife is a jeweler, for example, metalsmith), ie. become more educated....I have gained a greater appreciation of the work as art! Once you begin to appreciate and understand what it took to, for example, make that photograph (how, what materials, creativity of the image itself, etc.) you can begin to place more value on it as an art form, imho.
Now, for an entirely different matter.....collecting art and value thereof....
I watched a famous painter (whales, dolphins) known for painting on large buildings...charging $1250 for a 'unique' work, a painting, (16x20 paper) signed by the artist....and he would paint it right in front of you! Took him about 5 minutes....and you got to pick your animal (whale or dophin, basically).....one color, black. And he sold DOZENS...good for him, I have no problem with it....but Art? Value? I.e were you buying the piece itself, or a piece of the artist.....This can be a slippery slope....
well said Tony. I think the battle lies in keeping the value of traditional photography high in the public view. The public is used to seeing photos online and on TV. They buy cheap images in the form of movie posters, rock star posters, calenders, postcards, and now cd's. The public could care less if the print was contact-printed from a 12x20 negative onto a hand-made platinum paper and duo-toned.
Originally Posted by Tony Egan
Which in my mind only demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of photography. The idea that a photograph was always an accurate reflection of reality before digital is a commonly held misconception among the masses, but I don't see how anyone who actually understands what goes into making a photograph would believe such.
Originally Posted by avandesande
"In the very beginning, when the operator controls and regulates his time of exposure, when in the dark room the developer is mixed for detail, breath, flatness or contrast, faking has been resorted to. In fact every photograph is a fake from start to finish, a purely impersonal, unmanipulated photograph being practically impossible. When all is said, it still remains entirely a matter of degree and ability." -Edward Steichen
"So easy is it to produce these images that our culture has reached saturation point."
Ahhh the digital revolution...or revulsion.
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