top of page

Is photography considered art?

Before the invention of photography in the 18th century, only gifted artists could create lifelike representations of what the eyes could see. Paintings were particularly special in contemporary times with the age of photography since most of us could only fathom the amount of time and effort it took an artist to create such a lifelike image. This is especially impressive when you realize that these talented artists had to compete in an era when photography equipment was no longer a luxury but a necessity.

Photography art, camera thrown in air

The art critic John Berger writes in his well-regarded book Ways of Seeing: "Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does."

It's a positive perspective on one of the key distinctions between photography and conventional art. A photograph accurately records a moment in time, whereas a painting or drawing, no matter how exact, is simply a representation of whatever the artist chooses to see. Is photography, however, ever considered an art form?

Photography Art

Art, in my opinion, is a subjectively biased interpretation of the subject matter by the artist. The subject matter is mostly inconsequential in many ways; it is the biased interpretation that makes things fascinating and unique.

perspective photography, lens landscape

Artists present their own distinct perception of a scenario, which elicits a response from us, the audience. Their' job,' if you will, is to make us see a situation and then execute it in such a way that the viewer is engaged. The ability to transfer an idea into a finished result in the artist's preferred media is the skill.

It's tough to understand how photography fits into this parallel if we take the preceding paragraph at face value. It's difficult for photographers to look beyond what's in front of their lenses; we can only picture what physically exists or what we can make physically appear. As a result, it's easy to understand why some individuals are disdainful of photography as an art form.

Is There Artistic Value in Photography?

I personally find it difficult to compare my work to that of a painter or sculpture. I can't draw for toffee, and I'm not sure I have the talents they do.

photography frame, landscape, ocean, mountains

It's also difficult for people to regard photography as having artistic value when virtually identical duplicates of the same image may be made. A photograph, unlike a painting, can never be a one-off (unless you print one copy and then erase all signs of its existence!). And, of course, given the widespread adoption of digital photography, there is a widespread idea that everyone can take an image. Entry-level DSLRs are remarkably inexpensive, and the camera companies that promote them are partially to blame for this perception.

And nowadays, you don't even need a camera to snap a picture. Most smartphones include a camera and a plethora of options for rapidly uploading and sharing your work with whomever you wish. When a photograph is posted on Twitter or Facebook five seconds after it was taken, it loses some of its enchantment. It's difficult to call this instant medium "art" in the genuine meaning of the term.

Art Influencing Photography

Regardless of this, I believe that certain photography can be considered art. Many individuals are unaware that art has a significant influence on many of us professionals.

emotion, artistic photograph man curious angry

You may trace the influence of paintings in landscape and portrait photographs if you look closely. In my own portraiture, I frequently imitate the setup of groups of people in paintings, as well as the unique emotions and moods that these painters have captured. As a result, the effect of art is visible in our work before many of us have even squeezed the shutter.

Photography as an art form

Art, according to Wikipedia, is a "wide variety of human activities involving the creation of visual, aural, or performing artifacts that represent the author's inventive or technical talent and are intended to be admired for their beauty or emotional power."

You can already determine that photography is an art form based on the definition above. It may not necessitate a skill as demanding as painting or sculpture, but the will to appreciate beauty and express feelings is essential. Other strong reasons why photography is more than a craft include:

Photography necessitates creativity and imagination.

It's common knowledge that getting the perfect shot necessitates varied degrees of ingenuity and a lot of imagination. Ordinary things should be photographed and presented in a variety of ways to the public through remarkable stills, as photographers are well aware.

aero plane in between building

Photography is a powerful tool for capturing emotions.

The timing and anticipation of little aspects of significant occasions distinguish artistic photography from regular snapshots. Experienced photographers understand that powerful emotions are hidden in the minute details. What really matters in a busy world are the quiet moments.

emotional crying kid artistic

Perfect smiles, the calm before the storm, water droplets, and glittering eyes before the groom kisses the bride are just a few of the fleeting emotional moments that every photographer fantasizes about capturing.

Analytical skills were essential for photography.

Technical abilities that every photographer acquires over years of experience are required to freeze a perfect moment and preserve it forever. Photographers, like artists who use various brushes or mediums, must consider shutter speeds, apertures, and other numerical factors when capturing photographs.

camera menu settings lens

Type of lens, filters, and depth of field are just a few of the considerations that photographers must address right immediately. Otherwise, the chance to obtain the shot is gone, and it may never be again.

Photographers are well-versed in physics.

Photographers who have worked for a long time realize the importance of knowing how optics, cameras, angles, and lighting operate. Every photographer will benefit greatly from understanding the science behind photography.

photography, lightings, angle

This is analogous to how painters, sculptors, and other visual artists are aware of the factors that can influence the message they intend to portray through their work.

Photographers are familiar with the concept of abstraction.

In general, abstraction is a process in which information is meticulously but purposefully left out, resulting in a shot that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Abstraction necessitates a working knowledge of geometric shapes, texture, lines, color, and a few other related aspects.

abstract building photography

As previously stated, anyone can develop an artistic eye, and great photographers have honed their awareness of isolation and seeing beyond the shot's original perspective over time.

bottom of page