An Interesting Point

Someone asked me the other day "How'd you get into photography" I felt good that I had a heartfelt answer. I said "I've always been an artist in some fashion. Whether it's water color, pen and paper, acrylics, I've always had a need to create." I was a little shocked at the next statement/question. "But photography isn't really an art is it? I mean almost anyone of means can go out and buy a digital camera and produce beautiful photographs."

Now I was a bit offended. I replied "No, that's not true. Yes, anyone of means can go out and buy a digital camera, it better be a good one that they're willing to spend a few thousand dollars on. And then a few thousand more on everything else related to it. With a little training and a little luck they may be able to produce a decent image of whatever they find beautiful in this world, but it takes an artist's eye to  compose that image, and edit it into a photograph. By editing I mean cropping, increasing or decreasing lighting, color, texture etc. But it all starts with composition. A camera is a machine much as the paper and pen are. Whether it is transfering the image onto film or a microprocessor they do it mechanically or electromechanically.  They are inanimate objects that don't see and certainly don't create. The camera merely records an image. The photographer picks the image and decides how to use the machine to record that image to fit his (or hers) idea of what they want the end product to look like. I will admit to having to depend on luck and training when I first got started. I bugged every one involved in digital photography that I knew from the camera store salesman, to websites, to other photographers with every dumbass question in the book. I got a lot of good advice from people with a hell of a lot more patience than I have, but like everything else in this world practice, practice, practice, is what it takes to get good. And an artist's eye. If you take a photo and then decide what you want from it you are not a photographer. If you know what you want and then create it, you are."

I'm not sure if I got the point I wanted to get across or not, but I guarantee that person will look at photography a bit differently in the future.

As always feel free to disagree. As Pop would always say "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."


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