Some people reading this now may ask, “is photography really an art?” I mean, cameras are machines, so are they not doing the work for you? What really is the purpose of photography outside of capturing visual images? What is a photographer?
Yes, photography really is an art! Cameras are the medium by which photographers paint their art. Photographers are artists that collect and process visual images instead of painting them. Photographers can communicate everything a painting artist can, if not more! They are not cheating art, but adding new realms to it.
How so? Can’t most anyone click a picture?
You bet! Now, how many will click a good picture to offer a vision they have to others? How many photographers are there? Photography, just like painting or music, is ultimately communication. I seldom use cameras in my photography. My phone does a great job of processing and recording images. What’s so great about it, is that it’s always with me, so I don’t lose a chance to communicate my vision!
Painting is not all about pushing paint on a canvas, and photography is not about pushing a button! It is your mind that makes art, and not your media! I have argued this point with many visual artists, and not one has provided a good reason why their art is superior. I wish that they would not try! Art is a spiritual journey, so one-upping is pointless. Practice your art, and you will be successful. Practice social media, and you will make money. Just don’t confuse dedication with payback.
Think about it!
You will not make money from a product that you don’t sell. You really don’t have to! Some artists pursue their art for their own gratification only. There is nothing wrong with doing so. Thing is, if you wish to make money from your art, It has to be exposed and marketed.
What I’m more concerned with,
is that I make clear that photography is a fine art! Photographers who think less, are the only poor photographers. It is not really about the quality of your camera, as much as what you take pictures of, and why. You are providing a means of communication through images. This is your world!
There was once, a famous zen master, John Daido Loori, who also was a master photographer. I find his photography stunning in it’s ability to capture multiple images in one photo. His work exposes the great universal mind we call nature, as the same as our minds, creating successions of images and concepts pouring into the cauldron of eternity. Seldom have I seen photography this great. Why? His vision as an artist was not to fabricate an experience, near as much as to reveal one. His works speak for themselves, and to the viewer in a personal way. They need no explanation. This is the kind of art that touches me. I don’t want to see a translation between idea and image. I want the idea and image to be the same!
I hope you can get from that how photography is fine art. In photography, if you can’t find it, it will be hard to communicate! Finding it is essential! Changing a photograph is inferior to having the perfect one.
It takes meditation, field study, and a vision worth pursuing. Else it can happen by illumination. Something may come your way that excels your goals. That would be great!
In my photography, I think very carefully about how to capture forms, and what they are. I seek great pride in capturing what is going on. Next, I choose what I should see! What catches my eye may quickly change my preference:]
Most at home with nature,
I turn to her frequently for inspiration. Just leaving the beaten path has provided me with some of the best shots I’ve ever seen. Many props to Brunswick County! This is a beautiful place, in spite of the recent developments there. I hope it’s residents will take care not to let greed spoil this wonderful place.
The Cape Fear River, and all it’s many tidal creeks and marshes, are very inspiring. I love to take a shot of things that seem to be impossible, yet are quite real. For example, during a severe drought back in the late 1980’s, I noticed oysters growing from rocks in Burnt Mill Creek. This is a tidal creek, sometimes explored by salt water fish tolerant of low salinity, yet oysters? I tasted the water, and sure enough, it was salty. Strange thing was that fresh water plants were still quite healthy. What a picture!
Of great interest to me is the Wilmington underground. Literally. Many of the old creeks running into the Cape Fear were cased in tunnels as the city developed. there are many underground streams, and even potential bunkers in downtown Wilmington. Most are un accessible. Entry to many can be dangerous or unlawful. That being said, there are great pics to be found, underground.
One cup of pond water can reveal an amazing life dance! It’s a little difficult, but very rewarding. Microscopic, and nearly microscopic life forms are extremely beautiful. They often seem to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality. Microscopes or powerful hand lenses are needed, though I’ve found that a camera can quite easily peer into these. This removes the need for expensive equipment.
I advise that all artists at least experiment with photography. Even one with no interest except for painting can catch a multitude of valuable scenes this way. Wild animals, for example, are terrible models! Don’t try to tell an alligator, “Hold that fish up, don’t swallow it yet!” Even birds just don’t have time to model. Photography changes all that. You can snap a photo of a cougar catching a deer, and they both will hang out long enough for you to paint them.
Photography is a terrific pause button for viewing life!
It is also much more than this. It is an artist’s media alone, by which feeling, imagination, and physical information may be expressed, simultaneously!