Is Photography an Art?

What Does Art Mean To You?

It is undoubtedly evident that many of us are not aware of what Art actually means. Many of us possess expensive cameras, and mobile phones that come with high resolution camera options to help us capture that memorable moment. But, there is a vast difference between randomly clicking pictures and taking a shot that appeal to our aesthetic senses. Here is where ‘Art’ comes into the scenario. ‘Art’ consists of three fundamental components- artist, medium and the artwork. Also, the factors like ‘subject’ and ‘viewers’ are also important parts of ‘Art’. The subject may be an inspiration from the real world and viewers are of course audience who view the ‘Art’ and try to interpret it. Thus, like various other Art forms that we know of, ‘Photography’ is also considered to be an Art. Earlier, many people had a notion that ‘Photography’ is merely a job that requires clicking photos, the relevance of photographer as an artist was not recognized until the 19th century.

Evolution of perception of ‘Photography as Art’

Though there have been several debates on whether ‘Photography’ should be considered as an ‘Art’, the combined efforts of several great photographers of the 19th and 20th century has validated photography as an ‘Art’. They attempted to draw attention of viewers by producing very sharp and detailed images of the real world to explicitly portray what Photography as Art would offer to the people’s imagination. The earlier black and white photography may seem simple but, history says that plenty of approaches have been undertaken to modify emulsions and other processes involved in photography. In present times technology has provided us with the privilege of using an array of fine films, papers, chemicals, and darkroom equipment and computer software to bring varied effects to the images. From capturing straight replications of reality to colorful landscapes, photographers have come a long way in portraying thoughtful and mind blowing images to the people. Several sophisticated artists like Ansel Adams were perfectionists at photography and he showed to the world what manipulation in the camera work and darkroom could do to simple replicas of reality.

Understanding ‘Photography as Art’

To understand and appreciate Photography as a creative expression one must try sneaking a chance and watching an artist work first-hand. Since, only then can one realize as to how natural objects such as fruits and vegetables can be photographed differently by seeing it in a different way, which is the magic that artistry brings about to an otherwise normal scene or subject.

Photography now is no more a mere reflection of the subject but how a photographer as an artist response to that particular subject is what we get to see in an image. So if we tap on our abstract senses then we might get to see that apart from the physical reality in an image, everything else in the picture is a representation of an artist’s decisions. So, if you come across a ‘street photographer’ busy recording some street scenes, those are not just recordings but understanding the scene in a particular sense that is expressed in the image finally.

Though photography is a new addition to the world of art it has gained quite prominence in the recent times. As people has learnt to appreciate the finer things, they have also naturally accepted photography as a representative that give a new meaning to those little things which matter to us or may be are just a part of our daily lives. Thus, as perception of reality gets revolutionized gradually we get more immediate entertainment from striking photos that leave us speechless and in awe. So, next time you visit a photo gallery or pick up photo journal try and look beyond the obvious, as it might be conveying much more than what your eyes ‘see’!

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