Photography Is a Craft That Produces Beautiful Art
As a photographer, I am always working to improve my craft. I often wonder why I love nature photography and what is the end game for spending so much time outside excited to catch that beautiful setting. I used to feel like I had to justify the time spent, what's the end game, now almost 50 years old I’ve realized how fortunate I am in life to close my eyes and bring any one of the hundreds of scenic memories back to the forefront of my mind, always something vivid to remember and appreciate. The preparation, the travel, the setup, the capture, the production, all result in an amazing moment in time with nature. Nothing is more admirable than bringing a vision to life.
As an eight-year-old kid, I watched Bob Ross oil paint fantastic, fine art, nature scenes from his recollection from his time in Alaska. He used brushes and oils to deliver beauty on canvas. I see photography as fine art, similar, rather the camera is the brush, each photographer choosing their own tools or camera/lens to capture the right light. Then applying artistic digital skills, inks, and the right mediums to deliver pieces that leave the beholder amazed.
For me, photography is the best method to create as we can capture beautiful scenes and the locations are absolute. Photography makes places accessible for all, using modern-day tools which capture light measured in split seconds. That light holds a composition, the subject which becomes the skillful work ahead. Using digital technology to edit, I deliver my fine art vision in High Dynamic Range or HDR photography to display nature in crisp, colorful light which leaves viewers yearning to visit and invest in a stunning scene. And then, only then, if you’ve done your work, you commit the ink to the mediums; Paper, Canvas, Acrylic, Metal to make the photography fine art come to life. For me, that is what I consider art.
The Craft & Art of Photography
Like painters, some photographers pick up a camera and have the natural, self-taught, ability and understand light, composition, and intriguing subjects, others work a lifetime to achieve remarkable results. What you learn of the camera is a craft - the right tools and level of desire to get lost in creation. It's love and dedication you put into the things you make, the work you put in, the energy, and time. It’s the camera and lenses you select and how you use your gear that makes photography a craft, which is both cognitive and muscle memory. It's what we typically continue to learn and teach through our progress. Perfecting your craft can mean either perfecting a genre, for my landscapes, and for others having the ability to master any shot at any time without fear of gear - a true master of operations.
Once you’ve learned the craft and work to perfect the craft, you’ll really understand how to see a potential shot and make a vision. For me, that is the art side or how you take your vision and express it for others to enjoy. It's who you are; The framing, the colors, the emotion, and the motion, those are the things that make you want to look at a photo repeatedly. It’s what makes your images different from everyone else. It’s your unique style, subject choice, composition, and final delivery which says this is something worth investing in to enjoy every day. Photography helps a photographer capture a location for life and allows an investor to be somewhere they’ve never been, or can’t go, or something as simple as invoking memories of a time past to places familiar.
To me, yes, photography is art. It's a debate that goes on and will continue to go on but it's what you believe as worthy and what evokes an emotion. However, what holds true is art is fueled by the craft and the craft delivers the art but none of this matters if it's not shared, admired, and arguably talked about. That's my motivation for offering fine art photography, I want to create pieces that you can and want to look at every day. Each piece has a story and displays a culmination of planning, effort, and passion from the photographer/artist.
In the end, you want to offer your work, for purchase, to people who love the moment in time. Some buy appreciating the effort in the craft and some purchase for the final image, the art. Either way, you are creating and delivering value that will last a lifetime on a wall. Beautiful landscapes done well are timeless.