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Is Photography Art ?

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Iain Mavin
Iain Mavin
Posts: 8
Joined: 3rd Jul 2010
Location: UK
quotePosted at 13:09 on 9th November 2010

I wonder like many photographers if the pictures I take are classed as art or just "snaps" We have the masters of photography, ie Ansel Adams, Bernice Abbott, and Bresson plus Bailey, and Hockney but is their work classed as art in the same way that paintings are ? I suppose I feel a cheat as I take an instant image and not worked on a work for weeks - Yet I can spend time processing an image to achieve an effect I'm after. I have submitted a photo to prove my case - The Dowager Duchess in my Dunham Massey set of photographs in my attractions section.I have placed it in my pictures link below.

I have tried to place it here in this topic but unable to insert it - sorry. Will try later but I want to start this topic asap

 I look forward to your comments

 Iain 



Edited by: Iain Mavin at:9th November 2010 13:14
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Ron Brind
Ron Brind
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quotePosted at 13:53 on 9th November 2010

Hi Iain, an interesting question.

My thoughts are that the 'art' is in the taking of the original photograph. If as is possible today the photograph is then enhanced in any way using software (or maybe not) and because some people have no idea of just how far to go, then the 'art' in my opinion soon becomes a personal statement. I guess we all see things differently and because of it, photographs are different too.

Be interesting to hear what others have to say.

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Paul HiltonPremier Member - Click for more info
Paul Hilton
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quotePosted at 15:31 on 9th November 2010

And Ansel Adams was one photographer who, after taking his photo of say, Yosemite National Park, then spent ages in the dark room manipulating it to how he wanted the final result. 

David Bailey once said, " Many photographers in their lifetime will take the perfect photograph. I've been lucky. I've taken two."

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cathyml
cathyml
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quotePosted at 17:06 on 9th November 2010
Here is Iain's picture of the Dowager Duchess
The Dowager Duchess
Picture by Iain Mavin

The picture has the "feel" of an "old master", is that the effect you were trying for Iain?
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cathyml
cathyml
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quotePosted at 17:26 on 9th November 2010

Now as to the question "Is Photography Art?" 

I think intention may play a large role in this.  Do you take photographs to document/record/report pictures of a place/person/event/animal, etc?

Or do you look for a different angle/aspect/possibility so that the image produced is something in addition to a record?  I think this would apply both pre- and post - photographing the image.

In other words are you "trying" to produce a photograph in an "artistic" way?

There is no doubt in my mind that there are many photographs which I would class as art and in fact a friend of mine regularly exhibits his photos along with conventional artists' work, and they do not seem out of place.  (I wish he would try putting them on to canvas - which can be done now - and I love that look).

There are many, many photographs on POE which I would class as "Art Photos".

Art is defined by each of us in a different way, and seen by each of us differently.  Not all "art" appeals to everyone, and in fact some "art" can be quite a "turn-off" for some.  I think Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder!


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Iain Mavin
Iain Mavin
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Joined: 3rd Jul 2010
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quotePosted at 00:25 on 10th November 2010

Many thanks Cathy - I was having problems uploading that "snap" to this forum LOL

 As to " art in the eye of the beholder"  I have to  agree as some of the so called art on display in art museums is to me rubbish, I like a painting or photograph to tell a story. I try to do that with my works hence the "Dowager Duchess" effort to re-create an "old master" with a twist - ie modern dress on the visitors to the Hall.

In answer to your question - I try to take a different view to the photographs I take rather than the usual run of the mill shots, I do take time to find the right place to take the shot - just as an artist looks for a good composition to paint. So does that make me an artist or a photographer or both ?

My own philosophy is you have to "see" the photograph before you take it not just snap away. Then again I have taken several dozen shots just to get one I feel happy with, eg weddings and various commissions I have had.

As to Paul's post I have to say that Ansel Adams to me is the master of B & W. As Paul rightly says, Adams spent ages getting his tones and balance right in the darkroom - surely that's what we are doing when we manipulate an image using software on the computer. The initial photograph is just the starting point for some images. Look at the post work done on models in magazines. Who is to say that artists don't manipulate what they are painting to make a better image ?

There are cases of paintings by famous artists that under x-rays show other works underneath the finished article. So are we as photographers any different ?  So the question still remains - Is Photography Art ?



Edited by: Iain Mavin at:10th November 2010 00:35
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Paul HiltonPremier Member - Click for more info
Paul Hilton
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quotePosted at 04:44 on 10th November 2010

As was also asked earlier this year......

 http://www.picturesofengland.com/forum/Picture_Chat/3734

 

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urmimala singh
urmimala singh
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quotePosted at 09:00 on 10th November 2010
I would like to add that photography is art in the sense that the same object or scene photographed by two different people might look completely different.In one instance it might look quite an ordinary record of some object or scene but a master photographer will make the same thing or place look quite different by his use of angle,lighting etc.
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cathyml
cathyml
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quotePosted at 15:38 on 10th November 2010

I would like to bet that photographs which members have put in their favourites would contain a number of images which could be described as art. 

If you would be happy to enlarge them, frame them and hang them on the wall then I believe that puts them right there in the art category.

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Iain Mavin
Iain Mavin
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Joined: 3rd Jul 2010
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quotePosted at 00:45 on 11th November 2010
Funny you should say that but I have several of mine on the walls at home and some people in Australia have my work as well. Sold some images to them last year, but as they are of NYC and Rome I can't place them here - So they must be ART  LOL
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