Is Photography Art?

budwzr
budwzr Posts: 655
edited January 2012 in General
For that matter, is your video "art"?
I believe that they are indeed. I offer this photo I shot a few days ago, and looking at it evokes the same feelings as though it were a painting or drawing, except that it's "real" and not coming from my mind's eye, but from my physical eye.
Like a painting, it's unique, and cannot be duplicated exactly by anyone with a camera. It's not staged, or generated by a computer or pen.
Doesn't genuine art transcend the medium, and affect the psyche? No matter the procurement methods.
[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0UbhGl8GV7o/Tx2cohC5RyI/AAAAAAAAA9o/QDI7eBgr0D8/s640/BlackCloudsOverDesert.jpg[/img]
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Comments

  • looks like art to me
    As for film/video, I got really excited when movies like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and Frank Miller's Sin City came out. To me, those 2 films really changed what film could be. That surreal stylized look, to me it was more like art than just a movie. It changed the way I saw the movie screen. Now it looks like a canvas to paint on, only this one my art can move.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    "Stylized" is a good word for it. I saw a movie called "Hobo With A Shotgun" that was filmed in Technicolor, as a goof, I guess, but it just popped with that new dimension. Definitely "surreal".
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,156 Expert
    Awesome pic. This is indeed art my friend. Art is art to me... no matter who makes it or what tool they used to make it. :D
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    For any discussion of 'what is art?' I would refer you to this excellent article: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-01-16-who-framed-roger-ebert
    While that article is specifically talking about the 'are games art?' question, it applies equally to other forms of art.
    Basically, if you think it is 'art', then, for you, it is. The concept is such an ephemeral thing for me that I don't put much stock on it.
    However, as for a question of skill and craft, those are things that can be more objectively observed. And that is a really, really awesome photo.
  • Nuwanda
    Nuwanda HamburgPosts: 177 Enthusiast
    edited January 2012
    To make a long story short: Photography & Filming IS art !
    When a single photography or a movie is able to catch your eye and touches your mind/heart&soul ... then it is overwhelming.
  • Here is the definition of art that I was taught by my art instructor
    Art is any graphic depiction or performance piece that either conveys the emotion of the creator or performer, and or elicits an emotional response in the viewer.
    That was probably the only thing of value I took from that class. The instructor was an idiot.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited January 2012
    And what about those that ask "What does it mean?", when presented with abstract. I call this "pure" art. Like maybe a single stroke that has no merit other than that it's "perfect".
    For me, the hardest part of photography is deciding the crop, because I want to create a perfect balance, like the perfect single stroke.
    Does art HAVE to "MEAN" something, or depict something to be valid? I say no. It just has to be "perfect".
    I'm sure you real artists have some thought process like this, right? You're trying to hit that sweet spot, yes?
    I wonder if having a concept of perfection, and a burning desire to express it, is what drives artists.

    P.S. That photo really grabs me too. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at... And also, I really admire and envy you people that know and use Blender to create some really awesome stuff. Spydur, that means you too.:)
  • The only thing I make in Blender is Banana Daiquiris and Pina Coladas
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited January 2012
    However, as for a question of skill and craft, those are things that can be more objectively observed. And that is a really, really awesome photo.
    OK, I finally read the article, and appreciate your objective observation. :)
    I think it's the content of the photo that's compelling, and distinguishes it from kitsch. The way I shot it, bumped up the contrast a hair, and finally cropped it, were just supporting something that already had magnitude, or gravitas as the snoots might say.
    I suppose the author of "Urinal" is doing art too, but I'm not drawn to it as such. It doesn't immediately rise to the occasion of art unless someone intervenes and says so. Perhaps one of those tweed hatted bow-tied art experts.
    I guess my opinion, after reading that article, is that some art is more artier than others? But it's ALL art. Hahaha.
    Even a modern highrise building is art.
    Here's a photo I took at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval. This one happened VERY fast. "She" saw me, looked back, and I barely got a focus lock in time.
    "Her" pose was very natural and relaxed, and quite charming. We both enjoyed the "moment", as if it was some destiny, hahaha. It just worked. This was a night shot, so the color isn't great, but I think it's an interesting shot.
    It seems to be a mashup of masculine within feminine dressed back in masculine. :)
    [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-K0fFIBKbsjM/Tx9dZDpxE-I/AAAAAAAAA9w/NAOJfvYA9q8/s640/WeHo%2520CD%2520Police.jpg[/img]
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655

    The only thing I make in Blender is Banana Daiquiris and Pina Coladas
    And listening to Rupert Holmes?
  • MasterWolf
    MasterWolf Posts: 369
    edited January 2012
    lol Rupert Holmes is a tad before my time... not by much, but a tad
    well maybe not before my time, but i was just a kid when that song came out
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,618 Ambassador
    edited January 2012
    budwzr- Excellent photo & interesting topic. I too have a broad definition of art. When I first saw the game Red Dead Redemption I thought it was very artful. Same with buildings. I would think people looking at a Frank Lloyd Wright building would think art. His use of color, sightlines and in some cases settings is incredible. They are also unique as is your photo. The only difference is, the buildings and games will be around a lot longer than the moment you captured in picture. Did you have to pull over to get that shot?
    "I wonder if having a concept of perfection, and a burning desire to express it, is what drives artists."
    That describes my approach to writing music to a tee. The feel of the music, the lyrics, the instruments used, how it's sung (a lot of emotion- little emotion) all factors in to find that, as you say, sweet spot. I think I've hit it a few times....at least I was happy with the final product.
    Like MasterWolf seeing a screen as his canvas, I've come to look at a CD as a canvas on which I can paint music. A space to be filled with music and/or silence. B-)
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited January 2012

    budwzr- Excellent photo & interesting topic. I too have a broad definition of art.
    Thanks, yes I did have to pull over, and it was VERY cold with high winds, and I had to wait for all vehicles to clear off the road.
    When I spot a "shot", something takes over in my brain and puts me into a highly focused energetic mode, like a hunter might feel. That's the signal my brain gives me that I'm really on to something, as opposed to trying to "make" something with creative shooting.
    I don't know about other artists, but I HAVE to do my own thing, I couldn't possibly be happy to mimic someone else's style. That wouldn't be rewarding to me.
    I love taking pictures, but I don't love the technical aspects of photography. Many photographers I meet like to talk numbers and seem to take pride in their technical understandings, but I like to talk about the art aspect.
    Oh, by the way, I love music, but I'm not "gifted" in composing, so I have to rely on loops and construction sets. Once in a while I come up with a good diddy on my keyboard, but I have difficulty to expand it out into a whole song.
    Funny how we each have a "knack" for something creative, but in different genres. Illustrators can't do music, musicians can't do architecture, each of us is "tuned" differently.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,255 Staff

    Here is the definition of art that I was taught by my art instructor
    Art is any graphic depiction or performance piece that either conveys the emotion of the creator or performer, and or elicits an emotional response in the viewer.
    That was probably the only thing of value I took from that class. The instructor was an idiot.
    By that definition, then if you walked up and punched your instructor in the face, it would be performance art. Unless he didn't care in the slightest.
    For the most part I agree with Simon, Art is a vague term, and the definition can vary from one person to the next. However, I also think this is going to change more with regard to individual creations than to entire genres, and I think everyone would agree that photography can be art. It isn't by default, perhaps, but it certainly has the potential. Here is the definition fromm the Oxford Dictionary, which I rather like:
    "art: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."
    This addresses the intent a bit more than the previously mentioned definition. Things created specifically to be enjoyed for their beauty or emotional power are art, and ever things primarily created for other purposes, when they are appreciated for their beauty, or elicit an emotional response, can transcend into the realm of art, at least to the individual appreciating them.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    Things created specifically to be enjoyed for their beauty or emotional power are art, and even things primarily created for other purposes, when they are appreciated for their beauty, or elicit an emotional response, can transcend into the realm of art, at least to the individual appreciating them.
    In the professional "Art World", art is an investment like a commodity.

  • By that definition, then if you walked up and punched your instructor in the face, it would be performance art. Unless he didn't care in the slightest.
    The instructor was a woman... a really insane infuriating woman... we did not get a long.

    In a way, art, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Its a bit like "I know it when I see it", its a hard thing to define, you can't put it into words, but when you see a work of art you just know it.
    I have studied art all my life. I have spent my life working on refining my skills. I've done everything to improve my skills and be a better artist. Even after all these years of study, I still learn something new every day.
    I am pretty liberal when it comes to what is and isn't art. I know many who see abstract or modern art and don't consider it art. For me it depends on the piece. If I can recognize the thought and application of skill, then I can appreciate it as art.
    That being said, guys like the cat painter drive me buggy. This guy puts a canvas on the floor, dips his long hair cat in paint and then uses a laser pointer to make the cat go nutso on the canvas. His "art" has sold for millions of dollars. I spend my life working my backside off and this guy gets rich doing something anyone could do. I don't see it as art. I also don't consider the guy who keeps his poo in mason jars to be an artist, even though he got a government grant to further his art. In the art community I often get attacked for voicing my opinions. I get called an elitist. But like i said, art is in the eye of the beholder. I guess some people see a piece of crap in a jar as art, I just see a piece of crap.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited January 2012
    And didn't somebody once sell some food item for big money on e-bay because it looked like jesus?
    I saw a documentary once about a guy going around selling stale crackers using signs and putting ads in local papers. It was like, two crackers for a dime, something like that, or "best offer". It's on NetFlix, can't remember the name.
    And I still can't see the art in the Campbell's Soup painting. Andy Warhol. Actually, I can see the art, I just can't get any feeling out of it.
    But this one has merit:
    [img]http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/76500/Modern-Warhol-Soup--76661.jpg[/img]
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,618 Ambassador
    edited February 2012
    budwzr- You're right, as a musician I can honestly say I know nothing about architecture. :D
    Like you, I get a thrill from taking pics too.
    There was one, though, that I didn't know what I had until I downloaded it to my computer because the screen on the camera was too small to see the detail. Once I did I found a nice little gem. I took it just before sunrise and the clouds were low on the horizon just above some trees. The clouds were backlit which produced a dramatic setting.
    It's been published in a coffee table book but I haven't seen any royalties (I suppose the company was fly-by-night and probably didn't get any kind of wide distribution) but I still own the copyright so I don't mind.
    I call the pic "Cowboy in the Clouds" - I hope you can see why.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited February 2012
    Yeah! That is a good one. Of course I can see the cowboy "bustin' a bronc" or riding a bull, right? And can you see a saloon gal shaking her booty to the right? Her back is facing forward and she's kind of bent over doing like a "boogy" dance.
  • RossTrowbridge
    RossTrowbridge Posts: 399 Enthusiast

    budwzr- You're right, as a musician I can honestly say I know nothing about architecture. :D
    Like you, I get a thrill from taking pics too.
    There was one, though, that I didn't know what I had until I downloaded it to my computer because the screen on the camera was too small to see the detail. Once I did I found a nice little gem. I took it just before sunrise and the clouds were low on the horizon just above some trees. The clouds were backlit which produced a dramatic setting.
    It's been published in a coffee table book but I haven't seen any royalties (I suppose the company was fly-by-night and probably didn't get any kind of wide distribution) but I still own the copyright so I don't mind.
    I call the pic "Cowboy in the Clouds" - I hope you can see why.
    that's a great photo. Personally, I didn't see a saloon girl. I saw it as a pioneer woman with a pony tail kneeling down to do her washing in a creek.
    Since we're sharing photos, here is one I took last summer. I loved how all the elements in the photo (clouds, sun, mountain) all pointed to the two riders in the lower corner.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,618 Ambassador

    Since we're sharing photos, here is one I took last summer. I loved how all the elements in the photo (clouds, sun, mountain) all pointed to the two riders in the lower corner.
    Wow, you're right. The eye slides right down to where everything is, as you say, pointing. Did you notice that before you took the pic? The only reason I ask is I have a working theory that shots like this aren't perceived the same way before we see the picture. Like our brain sees the picture before we even realise what we've captured- call it subliminal or subconscience- either way, it's not until later when we catch up to that moment. Does that make sense? @-) Moments like that can be transposed into any other creative form as well, painting, music, writing, poetry etc.
    And if you did see it before you took the shot, never mind. :P

    That's interesting. I have one I named "HorseKiss"
    Now there's something you don't see every day. Great pic. Can we expect ponies any time soon? :))
  • RossTrowbridge
    RossTrowbridge Posts: 399 Enthusiast

    Wow, you're right. The eye slides right down to where everything is, as you say, pointing. Did you notice that before you took the pic? The only reason I ask is I have a working theory that shots like this aren't perceived the same way before we see the picture. Like our brain sees the picture before we even realise what we've captured- call it subliminal or subconscience- either way, it's not until later when we catch up to that moment. Does that make sense? @-) Moments like that can be transposed into any other creative form as well, painting, music, writing, poetry etc.
    And if you did see it before you took the shot, never mind. :P
    I would have to say I was mostly aware of it. I had positioned myself to catch the girls being backlit by the sunset with the dust from their horses. I had also been watching those clouds and really liked their shape. As I composed the shot in my viewfinder, I felt I needed to include the mountain for balance, but didn't really consider the ridge line so much. It was just a nice surprise when I looked at the photo afterwards.
  • I think it is. I think photography is an art. It may be multicolored. It may be black and white. There are professional photographers and amateurs. There are different genres of photography, which makes it to where a photography is an art. 

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,272 Staff

    I believe that photography is art, absolutely. When it comes to the idea of art and being an artist, I would recommend that you read Amanda Palmer's 'The Art of Asking' (as long as you don't mind swearing). 
    I agree with her when she says "You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected."

    As long as photography can provoke an emotional reaction, I think it's art :)

  • dagaffer
    dagaffer Posts: 58

    I think in the way of this discussion that I agree with the oxford dictionary . but the question was, is photography art?  my answer is it can be but often is not. I truly think that art is the process not necessarily the result. This is why dance is art a fantastic process that creates nothing but emotion in the performer and the viewer.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,994 Just Starting Out

    Agreed, it's definitely not art as long as there's no thought behind the photo. Majority take a picture but can't tell the story behind it, but to just show friends and whatever. I recently picked up blu ray's yesterday, and I took a photo of them and sent it to my friend, is that art? No...

  • BobDiMarzio
    BobDiMarzio Posts: 624 Just Starting Out

    @KevinTheFilmmaker I  Agree.  However, in the same vein a hand drawn component or assembly drawing (old school blue print) would not be considered art.    But perhaps , a hand drawn, photo-realistic drawing of your new Blur-Ray maybe considered art by someone.   The Andy Warhol Soup can comes to mind.    I like @KirstieT  response.  "And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected." I live in an area that has at least 6  large art festivals every year.  Using a gut level response, it becomes second nature to immediately discern who is painting/shooting/sculpting to tell a story and who is using their skills to produce popular local  "cliche" scene  with the hope of attracting buyers.  

    It's possible that the "is it art" question began the first time someone applied charcoal to a cave wall. And I do not expect the "is this art" question to get universal agreement anytime soon.  

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,466 Enthusiast

    Edina (showing off her art collection): This is a …sort of…corpse…in an open, oaken, oblong coffin…with a silk lining….It’s a dead body, Pats.

    Patsy: Yeah, but is it art, Eddie?

    Edina: No, sweetie, it’s my father.

    Patsy: Are you sure?!?

    Edina: …I think so. I’ve never seen him in a suit before.

    Absolutely Fabulous

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,994 Just Starting Out

    Although isn't it art because technically you have to compose a photo before you take it. People do that because it's important, because you want to see what the photo is about. 

    I personally don't consider that art, I've been to filmschool, and I've taken photography courses and it's far more complex than that.

    @Aladdin4d That's slightly disturbing. :D