Is It a Photograph or Is It Art?

Nature Photography

I have been reading some posts by photographers who are really into the idea that their images are pure and pristine because they take great pains to get all the settings right in the camera so they do little or no post processing. They harken back to the days of film when post processing in a wet darkroom was a long and time consuming process and you really needed to get it right on the film. While they are not quite beating their chests about the fact they are producing “pure, real” photographs, they are coming close to it.

Rest assured, I don’t have a problem with this approach to photography, however I do have a problem when they proclaim that those of us who do a lot of post processing are sloppy photographers. They are so hung up on what they consider “real” images that they fail to realize…

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2 thoughts on “Is It a Photograph or Is It Art?

  1. The final judgement is made solely about the picture.
    How it is arrived at isn’t relevant to everyone., Most people using a phone camera have little or no control over the image using supplied standard processing or sites like instagram to process their images, selecting a filter to add a style and an implied ‘understood’ value ..
    Let us not forget that part of the business of photography is the printing and from its beginnings lots of manipulation was carried out at that point.
    Yes, getting the exposure right in camera is important but that is also a creative decision. Ansell Adams zone exposure system relied upon an early decision about what you want the print to look like, are going to expose for, highlights or shadows Adams, who trained as a classical pianmist, likened the negative to a musical score and the print as the performance. Bill Brandt, exposed and processed film and printed to achieve high contrast images. Man Ray pioneered re-exposing the image at the development stage, known as solarisation.

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