"The negative is the score, and the print is the performance." -- Ansel Adams.
Like music, composition is key to photographing. Composition can be broadly interpreted to include all the activities that precede clicking the shutter, including study film/sensors to know how they respond, arranging and tuning lighting, positioning the camera for perspective, framing the picture by mounting one focal length, etc.
Some musicians compose, some play. Both musical activities are creative arts.
Some photographers compose, some print. Both photographic activities are creative arts.
Just like an idle stroller on a rocky beach might find a lovely piece of driftwood to toss in the back garden, so may an average guy happen to take a great photo.
On the other hand, just like a master sculptor can carve a good sculpture out of almost any piece of their chosen material, so can a master photographer make a good photograph out of almost any lighting condition.
Professionals make photographs, amateurs make excuses, most people take snaps.
I'm sure we have all seen some terrible professionals' photographs and some outstanding amateurs' photographs.
Originally Posted by Monito
I give birth to a photograph
"There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).
I thought paper was expensive; imagine Bill's costs having an OB-GYN on call in the darkroom!
Originally Posted by cowanw
"There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri
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i agree "technique is no art"
a camera is a tool for mechanical reproduction.
being a technician, knowing the limits and use or materials
does not make an artist.
picasso miro dali monet and the others created something ..
granted they used tools and materials like someone who uses a camera
but i wouldn't call knowing how to expose process and print a photograph
an art, anymore than i would call knowing how to control perspective
with a view camera an art ..
in many cases our cousins who use modern media are more artists than technicians
because they are painting and altering the faithful mechanical reproduction of
whatever it was they photographed ...
1890 is almost here !
While I agree that technique in and of itself is not art, art is comprised of many techniques used in union for creation.
BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"
IMO... photography is an art form when those who view an image consider it to be art. Included in photography are a variety of media. Selecting the medium one wants to express his/her view is just the first step of many. Some but not all would include the format, lens selection, composition, filter or not, exposure and so on. Then the presentation such as paper selection, printing style, manipulation or not and so on. (You could but perhaps not here include digital.) The fact that photography includes the use of mechanical tools doesn't diminish it from being an art form.
Sculptors use various tools some of which can be mallets and chisels, pneumatic, welding, casting and others. Painters use brushes, palate knives, air-brushes and paint on different materials. Some do realism even photo-realism and some abstract. There are pastels, pencils and charcoal.
I believe Steichen, Stieglitz, Weston and many others past and present have solidly established photography as an art form.
Photography is often a process of deciding what to leave out, or how to emphasize the right elements. I 'select' from a landscape.
I feel, therefore I photograph.
They did. Paint and brushes can be used to paint the walls of a house or they can be used to create great works of art. A pencil and paper can be used to make an artistic sketch or you could write a shopping list with it!
Originally Posted by jnanian
Likewise, a camera can create art or documentation or illustration. It isn't necessarily art just because it was created with a camera (or paint and brushes or pencil and paper).