Saturday, December 12, 2020

Van Gogh's Ear

Is photography "Art"?

Art is ”the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form …, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Oxford Languages.

So, is photography “Art”? Of course. That was easy.

But is a particular photo good or bad art? Not so easy. Just as beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, so is artistic excellence. The out-of-focus shot of your favorite grandchild may be precious to you. But some photographic elements are likely to make more viewers pop a particular photo into the “Good Art” category.

The photographer’s creative skill and technical proficiency are in evidence. The picture is in focus, well composed, without glaring distractors such as a tree appearing to grow out of the subject’s head. Not that someone can’t accidentally get a great shot, but the chances improve with increased skill.

Emotional power is one of those “I know it when I see it” things for most of us. What’s in your mind when you line up a shot? Are you just trying to get a clear picture of a swimming swan or are you trying to capture the feeling of peace and calm embodied by the bird gliding along over its own shadow?

For emotional power, consider the great photo-journalistic shots: the Kent campus shooting (John Paul Filo) or “Afghan Girl” (Steve McCurry).

Many of our members have shared photographs where their intent was to evoke an emotion, share a feeling or a sense of the human condition, show the ferocity of nature, the vastness of the universe, or the nostalgic sadness of the passing of the seasons.

So…is photography art? But what in your view makes a particular photograph great art?

Add your comments and let's have a conversation:

1 comment:

  1. Add your comments below. If you would like to share your "Art Photos" click the Van Gogh's Ear album above.