Why Photography is an Art

Photographers often take inspiration from art so it is no wonder that people ask the question, ‘is photography art’?

Why Photography is an Art. Landscape and Travel Fine Art Photography — Ramon Fritz

Photographers often take inspiration from art so it is no wonder that people ask the question, ‘is photography art’?

It’s often thought that photography is literal in the sense that it depicts exactly what is before you and leaves little to the imagination. This has changed significantly over time due to photographic techniques developed by early photographic pioneers utilising composition, lighting and production and later with software like photoshop in post-production where techniques become more and more advanced allowing imagery to be manipulated.

So where do we draw the line between art and photography and what makes photography art? 

There are numerous ways to approach the question beginning with, are you an artist using photography as a medium or are you a photographer where photography is your medium and then taking it further, are you a photographer exploring techniques within that medium through recognised artistic techniques like composition, lighting and production leaning toward producing visual art that evokes emotion and is intentional.

Much like fine art, I don’t believe one can draw a line as you could then question, ‘but what is art? ’, an ongoing debate.

Truthfully, we know that art is in the eye of the beholder. If something stirs inside the viewer when viewing the image and captures their imagination, evoking emotion and creating debate — who are we to question whether something is art.

Having said that, what if the emotion evoked in a viewer is similar to that of a holiday snap. Is it art? In my own mind, I would question whether the message of the image is direct or is it intentional. This is where intention plays the larger role in what makes a photograph fine art.

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