In the first part of the discussion regarding why we take photos I outlined the reasons for taking photos and why we would want to. Thats the first half of the story. The second half is about the “Art of Photography”. Your initial response may well be “what art?” a photos a photo. Thats a rather simplistic view point, but I would agree that the vast majority of folks simply want to record an event or happening in a straight forward manner. Theres nothing wrong with that either, as it is exactly what I was alluding to in the first part of this article.
Theres a long history of argument as to whether photography could be considered as an art form. For me personally I have no doubt it is an art form. Whether you are interested in landscape, astrophotography, portraiture, or any number of areas of photography there is huge potential for the creative individual to produce a piece of work that evokes a reaction from the viewer.
Street photography is one area where we can often see powerful and evocative images on any number of subjects. I shot this image recently on a walk around the city’s inner lanes. The individual was oblivious to us, either from a hard night out or perhaps from simply a hard life in general. The same applies for the following image as well.
The art in street photography is reliant on a number of factors that tell the subjects story without necessarily being intrusive to them. It can be a reminder that we arent all as fortunate as we would like to be. I personally find street photography to be one of the hardest disciplines in photography. How to present your images to tell the story without causing undue distress to your subjects can require planning and often times just doesn’t convey what you are trying to achieve. This type of photography is now more difficult thanks to the internet, as people dont always know who may see the image, and many people feel its a violation of there basic rights. Striking the balance between artfully telling the story and leaving people with their dignity intact can be quite a feat.
Theres an interesting article at Contrastly by Jo Plumridge that considers this topic from a Pro photographers viewpoint. Its a shortish piece but I think it covers a basic viewpoint in regard to photography as an art form.
To my mind a good deal of the “Art” in photography is in visualisation of the finished image, the planning, setup and execution in taking the image, with the final touches being done in post processing.
Seeing a scene in front of you and finding the best way to portray the scene is a large part of the artistic process as well. This is very much akin to what the great painters did as part of their process. Very few “Traditional works of art ” were done on the fly. Thats why we see many partial drawings, sketches etc before the final image is created and finished.
I’m also reminded of the adage “Art is in the eye of the beholder”, which means that as a creative person you are always striving to promote thought or emotion in regard to your images. Thats pretty much the same when said of a sculptor or painter or any other creative individual who offers a unique viewpoint, style or creation. Art to me is purely subjective and emotive, and in this photography is also able to convey these basic principles. Of course your view may well be different for any number of reasons, feel free to comment on this fascinating subject in the comments section.
For now…”Happy Snappin”