The writings below are my opinions, and only my opinions.
For those of you new here at Earth Images, you will find art a recurring theme.
There are two great things about art. One is that in some form or another, everybody can participate. Secondly, that art is a matter of opinion. Someone, somewhere will always let you know that you have succeeded, or that you have failed. I know that there are those who would suggest that art is…well just not art unless it is different, or even weird. Never let them convince you that your art is less than any other.
Seven opinions/observations come to my mind immediately.
1 A sharp, stand up picture of a say an Avocet shorebird, in its proper habitat, can be every bit as much art as an image that is out of focus, or one that has a surreal surrounding. The art lives in your soul, in the performance of the bird, and in the eyes of the beholder. Realism can be art, just as can surrealism.
2 A careful, skilled, 100% sharp image of a flower, can carry as much art as an image of a small portion of a flower, with shallow depth of field.
3 A sloppy or technically inept vision of a photographic subject does not mean the creator was an artist, only that they probably failed to make a technically good image.
4 The greatest painters understood canvas, brush and paint, just as a photographer should understand camera, exposure, depth of field etc.
5 It is also true, that an abstract view of a common subject, is no less art than a sharply detailed view. A vision is a vision.
6 Art does not become less when the camera equipment used is inferior to that used by others, but it also doesn’t become more. It may however mean you cannot produce prints that are worthy of your vision, or images that can be published.
7 I believe that every single person, has some sort of art to share.
Craft is art. Notice that the word artisan (skilled craftsman or tradesman) contains the word art. I chose that title for a reason.
I have seen crocheting that I felt was art. I have heard unpublished music that to me, was art. I have seen woodworking that was in my opinion, art. I have seen athletes perform their sport, as an art. I have watched a sprint car (race car) driver pitch his car at break neck speed around a ½ mile dirt track, and around his opponents as well, while performing an automotive ballet that was no less art than Baryshnikov.
Art is everywhere, but nowhere quite so much as in nature. God is the ultimate artist. I have written many times on this blog, that I may on rare occasions feel I am creating art from nature, but mostly the art is already there and my job is to recognize and share it. This is especially true with wildlife.
Artists of any kind are no different from any other segment of society. Some are much too humble and others are a bit too self-aggrandizing. It certainly is up to you to tell the world, when you win a contest, or get your work in a new gallery, sell a valuable piece of your art or get an image published. Nobody will do that for you. On the other hand, and it seems there is always another hand, don’t try too hard to let us know that you are in fact an artist. It is not attractive. In the end, you really don’t get to make that determination. Others will decide whether or not, you are an artist.
For nature photographers/artists who are trying “too hard” to be artsy, it will often take the natural out of nature. Great light, great comps, and great vision make nature art.
I know that there are people who think that I have something against the digitizing of nature photography. By that I mean the digital (or even in camera) alteration of the truth of nature. I am not against that. I sometimes show images of that sort on these pages. I do not however, appreciate the mindset or artistry in that form of image making, as much as I do with those photographers who have that incredible way of producing their powerful vision, as it exists at the moment of conception. That is true whether the finished picture is complete realism, or a complete abstract. I sometimes alter reality in my nature images. It is rare, but I do that. As an example I show you black and white versions of a world of color from time to time. My butterfly photo in this post was created with electronic flash, despite the fact that I could have made it with natural light. I enjoy that, but would never trade those images for the ones I have created during those moments when my personal vision sees something real in the natural world that I can relay through that vision, to you the viewer. My feelings are the same for me as they are for any photographer.
There is one thing I am sure of, we are all the richer for art. Appreciate and enjoy it. Artisan or artist, art or not, it’s always up to you.
The next paragraph is meant as an aside to today’s post.
I most definitely feel that writing is an art. Now let me say right away, that as a writer, I am not an artist. I will settle for being occasionally interesting. A few weeks ago I published a copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in this blog. I did so partially because of what had happened on those grounds, and why it happened. The other reason was to give an example of just how artful a piece of writing can be. “The Address” is in my all time top ten of the written word in the modern (AD) era.
Because of my last post on words, I am now rereading this one to see if I use the term love too much, or hate at all. Is there too much drama? Looks OK.
Thank you for visiting Earth Images. I know that we are a little different from other photography blogs. It is an attempt to bring you more than just photography. You are invited to return. Wayne