Friday, August 19, 2011

The craft of photography

Some people, including many photographers, regard photography as an art. As a photographer, I have always been uncomfortable with being labelled an artist. To me photography is more a craft than an art. As a craft, it lies somewhere between an art and a science. It is a skill that can be duplicated in most people, given the right equipment and the right instruction. It is not a unique ability. For example, when a model shoot has been set up, all the photographers shooting at the same model will end up with a similarly good image.

I like what Paul Robinson (an accomplished photographer) says: "(The craft of photography) is the skillful operation of equipment (camera and post-production) as well as the achievement of ideas gained during the process along with pre-visualized results. It also includes the basics of composition, lighting, colour, tone, and presentation."

The above is a wonderful summary of what photography is all about. In particular, I agree that post-production processing is a necessary skill. Without some skill in this area, one will not be able to join the ranks of those who exhibit in the most competitive salons in the world. I also like how Paul Robinson includes presentation as part of the craft of photography. Indeed everyone who practices this craft should have a showcase for his work. This could be prints, an online gallery, or perhaps a slideshow or a photobook.

No comments: