In honor of
Nellie Bly & Koen Wessing
The question of whether photography is an art or not pops up every once in awhile. It is a simple question to settle. As long as the outcome is uncertain and decisions have to be made, then there is art in the process. If photography was not an art, then one photograph would be as good as the next.
We can define art as any creative effort by a human, animal or nature that humans distinguish as noteworthy. The creative side of art deals with the imagination and uniqueness of vision with the creation. The technical end deal with skills.
With photography there is both an art of technical skills and there’s the art of creativity and imagination. A photographer can have much skill with technical side, but not much art of vision and creativity and vice versa.
Each branch of photography has their own skill sets that come into play. A mastery one branch of photography does not guarantee success in another area that may require a different set of skills.
Even with nearly 50 years experience with street and documentary photography I needed to learn a new set of skills to do infrared flash photography for my Piercing Darkness project.
We can see this the question of ‘art and specialization’ come to play with an anal studio photographer tying to be a street photographer or a street photographer trying to be an anal studio photographer. Every once in a while you come across a master that can do it all…those are the ones that can make me jealous!