Friday, December 12, 2014

I Am An Artist - I Am A Photographer

Photography Is A Drug - Stallion Springs, California
I am an artist. Photography is my medium. Cameras and lenses are my tools.

Interestingly, the debate as to whether photography is actually an art form continues. I thought this was settled 100 or so years ago, but apparently I was wrong.

Here's my simple response: I'm an artist and photography is my artistic choice. If photography is not art, than I am not an artist. But I am an artist, so photography must be art. It has to be and it indeed is.

Art is the expression of creativity and imagination. For something to be called "art" it must be creative and imaginative. There are many photographs out there that lack both of those important attributes. Those photographs are not art. But there are also many photographs that are both creative and imaginative, and those images are indeed art.

Creativity and imagination may seem redundant--aren't they basically the same thing? Being creative is having the ability to make new things--original and tangible things. It's creating something that doesn't otherwise exist. Being imaginative is thinking new and interesting ideas. It is conceptual.

The way creativity and imagination work together is that one must first form a new and interesting thought (the concept), and then use that thought to create something that doesn't otherwise exist (the tangible). The thought alone is not enough and the creation alone is not enough. You need both to create art.

Photography is art when the artist photographer uses both creativity and imagination to create an image.  When the photographer has photographic vision he or she becomes an artist. 

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