Art is in the eye of the beholder. It fits whatever definition we choose. Whether a photographer creates art, or simply shares the natural art they find, matters little, because the act of visualization, can be art in and of itself.
To me, there is nothing more exciting than using the art of photography, to discover and display texture.
I know it sounds like I need to “get a life”, but I stand by my claim.
Whether it be by sidelight and the little shadows that it creates and therefore portrays the texture via the visual separation of side by side bits of land, or by water droplets in which case our brains instinctively tell us that the water is above the level of in this case the leaf, or by tones in which the light advances towards us and the dark recedes, therefore making a two dimensional image look or “feel” three dimensional, texture can be one of the greatest assets of being a photographer.
Whew, that might have been the world’s longest sentence!!
In many ways, I always viewed that the art of photographing things that already exist, such as buildings, cars, and certainly the things of nature, was not about me “creating” something. It was about my recognition of art as it exists (many photographers never see it), and then having the knowledge, skill and vision to capture and share it.
Building studio sets from our imagination and setting your own lighting and creating your own actual physical composition in my opinion, is more about creating art.
That said, discovering what’s in front of you and sharing it, to me takes more internal art. You do not ask a bird to pose, you recognize the art in that pose, capture it and share it. The Double-crested Cormorant and the female Rose-breasted Grosbeak below created art via their poses, and I recognized it and shared it.
Whether wild animals simply doing what animals do is art or not, I am not sure. It seems to me that sometimes it is and sometimes it is not, but that’s “the eye of the beholder” concept.
The Whitetail Deer doe you see below has a hitchhiker in the form of a Cowbird. The bird I am sure, is quite happy to be there and the deer I am equally sure is happy to have him there.
Cowbirds eat ticks and other insects off of the bodies of deer and other mammals.
Whether that visually constitutes art is certainly debatable, but I was happy to be there and to share what I found.
Is play merely play, or can it be art? Maybe the “art of play”? I just know I was happy to have been allowed by these kit foxes (and their parents) to view and photograph them.
To me, the most naturally artistic subject God gives us to photograph, is the sunrise/sunset.
Like all photographic subjects it needs to be captured and then shared, but………
This subject is interpretive by the photographer not only by how she/he composes what is in front of them. Where to stand, what lens to choose (15mm, 800mm?) which is in fact composition, but after choosing a composition, whether to under or over expose the scene completely alters an mage. There is no true proper exposure when we shoot into the light.
The finished image with this subject “belongs” to the photographer much more than the deer or the fox image I previously shared. More so than the birds photos as well. Even in the land, leaf and bark photos, my attention was to capture an exposure that was as true as possible to what most people would have seen if they were there with me. I have stood in front of magnificent sunrises with other photographers and each of us saw something so very different in the details or lack of such, that our images seemed as if they were made at different times of day and even at different locations.
A gift to the art of man.
With a medium such as photography, which was designed to copy or at least mimic reality, it’s the seeing that becomes the art.