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.