Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Photography Art or Craft?

The question is often brought up if Photography is more of an Art or is it a Craft? To answer that you have to define what is an Art or what is a craft.

Most people would agree that a painter (scenic not house) is an Artist. Likewise a person that builds furniture is considered as a Craftsman. Using that as a reference point it could be said that an Artist creates something unique, whereas a Craftsman makes something that can be repeated again and again.

Based on that definition it would seem obvious that photography is a craft, but . . . it's not quite that simple. Give 5 photographers, the same camera, the same subject, and the same lighting and more often than not you will still get a variety of unique images. Therefore, photography must be an Art, right?

My personal opinion is that it is both a Craft and an Art. While many people learn the Craft (exposure, depth of field, shutter speeds, etc.) not everybody bothers to take it to the next level and learn the Art (Framing, Rule of Thirds, Leading Lines, etc.) I have great respect for both; but for those who argue it is one or the other, I believe they are not getting the whole picture.

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