View Poll Results: Is photography an art or a craft?
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The Greeks didn't regard clay pots as art, though they regarded painting and sculpture as such. I don't know, though, whether they regarded plaster casts--the earliest form of mechanical reproduction of aesthetic and religious objects--as "art."
It is essential for an artist to be a master craftsmen. To be able to have complete control over his medium. It does not mean he has to be able to do everything or know everything in his art or all aspects of the craft or technique of his medium. For example, just how many types of films, developers, papers did Weston use? What did Steiglitz say, less is more? Or was that Weston. But to be able to control what he does so as to create freely, intuitively, spontaneously, no matter what the circumstances.
Control is essential for creativity. To go out shooting with the mentality of the more film you expose, the greater your chances of getting a few shots that are worth keeping, showing, is not the thinking pattern of an artist.
Just because someone is a master craftsman, does not make him an artist. I have watched marvelous furniture craftsmen carve, chissel, sand incredable pieces. But they are reproductions. But to create an original design, brings one more into the realm of artistry.
Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.
Craft + emotion + intention + taste = ART
Craft + boredom = CRAFT
if it is a photograph - at the end of the wash cycle, it is art. (it seems that all artform need a tool for its creation. in photography, it is a camera and or the enlarger.)
... but there is a lot of junk to clear before finding the piece you actually need ...
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Craft + MARKETING = "art"
Is it dead horse time around here? Hasn't this just about gotten discussed and beaten to death over the last 75 years?
Any art form requires craftsmanship. The problem people have with photography is that if you give a chimpanzee a camera, it will make a photograph - not necessarily "art" (whatever that may be) - but, it can come up with a rudimentery image. Of course, this is predicated on the chimp being given some help with the final production of the photographic print. However, even this is not much different than the artistic elephant who loves to paint pictures.
The implications of this being, anyone with a camera is capable of making an artistic image with little or no practice, only luck. Other art forms appear to require training, practice, and a dedication to work at them to develop the ability to translate what is in the mind of the creator through skilled eye / hand coordination into a final product. In that context, true art is akin to playing a musical instrument. Musicians study and work diligently to make music instead of noise. This obvious practice, work, and dedication is appreciated by those who cannot make music.
Not so with photography. It is the equipment that makes the photograph - or so many people think. If you can compentently operate the equipment - (and who has to do that now with auto - eveything?) - then you can take a photograph. With some "luck" it may be considered "art."
The real problem with photography is that it is so easy to make a rudimentary image. People, therefore, often classify it as a lesser form of expression because it is easy, and requires little or no practice for generating an image.
Those who insist on making an expressive image, or depicting a personal point of view know just how hard you have to work to achieve that level of expression.
I am reminded of a statement by Franz Liebkin in the movie the "Producers," who said, "Did you know Hitler was a wonderful painter? A whole flat, two coats, one day."
Yep, there's painting and then there's painting. I guess the context one has to consider is the crux of the bisquit.
Craft: A paint-by-number work where all the paint was applied within the lines. Controlled, "perfect" and un-original.
Art: The polar opposite.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Mozart, Betthoven, Michaelangelo, did not sit down and create just for the love of it. They had to work to pay the bills and live. Almost all of their work was completed as paid commisions. In that regard, while they may be considered 3 of the greatest artists the Western world has ever known, they almost would have considered themselves master craftsman with a product that was in great demand. The work is only considered great art when the public or the purchaser says it is so.
The same holds true today. I have long felt that Ansel Adams was a great craftsman who created work that was eventually accepted as art. Quite a bit of his best work was done when working on commission from the National Parks Service.I don't know if he ever considered himself a great artist, but I think he thought of himself as a master craftsman.
So my opinion, photography is a craft. Your craft can be technically perfect but have no soul, so it stays a craft. you can create images that the craftsman may say are technically inferior, but if peers and collectors say it is art, you become an artist.
I don't think that monetary gain necessarily determines whether or not a work is art or craft. Art *can* be produced for money, or sustenance or ..., witness numerous artists funded by "grants". There is something else ... Art requires the involvement of the "spirit" of the one creating it. It must exhibit something of life.
Originally Posted by Jim68134
A craftsman can make a table, for himself, with *no* idea of making money, faithfully following a blueprint, without becoming emotionally involved. The table may be beautiful, but if it is not an expression of its maker, it is a "craft piece" ... not necessarily a "bad" thing ... just not really art.
So, when we photograph ... WHY do we do it? I would not mind making money from it ... but that is not even close to my primary motivation, neither is status or being seen as a "Great Photographer" (In all honesty, that was my goal when I first started ... but I learned that "greatness" is a numbing illusion).
I know that this sounds simplistic ... but the best answer I can give is that "I do it because I feel better doing it than I do when I don't do it."
Why do I feel like that? .... I'm not sure... I'll keep at it until I figure it out.
Ed Sukach, FFP.