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Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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In another thread, a photographer defended his skill level by say "photography is art".

Why is it that if an image looks like a snapshot, people defend it "as Art"

Personally I think that photography, espically glamour, is a craft, and that we as photographers are craftsmen. Some may become artians and create art, but they still have to work through the craft, and gain the skills needed.

Comments?

Glenn


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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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there are a few photographers i categorize as artists, many i view as craftsmen (myself included), and still more who are something other.

defending poor shots as a unique artistic vision is a load of crap. if i vomit on a canvas, let the bile and my most recent, partially-digested meal dry (hey! there's an image for ya) and i hang it and show it am i an artist? i think not.

lack of skill and craft and passing it off as art is an easy, lazy way to excuse not taking the time to learn one's craft or art or whatever one wants to call it.
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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Glenn
Craft or art, good discussion? Personally Iím not that artistic so Iíll settle for craftsman in training. Iíve taken some prints to the local strip clubs and have found several dancers that are interested in modeling for me TFP for fine art nudes. I think next time I go looking for recruits maybe I should change my approach and ask them if they are interested in modeling for some medium craft nudes and after I get better then I can start asking for fine craft nudes. I do find it interesting when I ask people which ones they like best there is no consensus; it is all over the place which one is their favorite so beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 01:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd

if i vomit on a canvas, let the bile and my most recent, partially-digested meal dry (hey! there's an image for ya) and i hang it and show it am i an artist? i think not.
But if your name was Mick Jagger, or Keith Richards I am sure people would buy it... Maybe we just created a new art form... vomit of the stars. Do you think there is a market?

Glenn
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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 01:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I fall into the craft camp. You can't have art without first having craft. It's like playing a musical instrument. You first have to have some chops before you can worry about "creating".

I feel you have to have a vision of what it is you want to create. You then need to have the chops to create it. If you can do this, then you are a competent craftsman. If others view your work and are so moved by it that they want it around them for purely aesthetic reasons, then perhaps you've moved into art with that image, but that is for others to decide, not ourselves...

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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 01:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainKen
Glenn
<snip>
I think next time I go looking for recruits maybe I should change my approach and ask them if they are interested in modeling for some medium craft nudes and after I get better then I can start asking for fine craft nudes.
The thing is Ken, if you call it Art, or fine Art, then you need to wear a funny hat and talk with a french accent...

Seriously, nudes are called fine art, IMHO just so that they are acceptable. It is easier to say "I create fine art nudes" then to say " I take nakked pictures". Personally I label my nudes as intimate portraitures.

Well crafted nudes takes a lot of skill.

Glenn
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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Glenn
Well your intimate portraitures are very good; what ever you want to call them you have the skill to back it up. I like that term by the way. My intent is to make sure the model knows Iím an amateur and if she agrees and is up for experimenting then letís do something. Seriously, calling them medium craft nudes and why I called them that might just make them laugh and open a door for me. I try to set low expectations so hopefully I can at least achieve something that is better than a camera phone shot. I also tell them if they like those kinds of photos and want more of a sure thing where they can go here in town and shoot with a pro and approximately what he charges. Under promise and over deliver is what Iím trying to do at least until I have more skill. Like I said before Iíll be happy if Iím recognized someday as a skilled craftsman.
Ken
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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 01:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Glenn,

Great topic, I'm on the road, but wanted to add one thing. First before we can look at our genre of what we do, such as glamour, fashion, editorial, commercial, advertising, etc., of photography and try and determine if we're beginners, apprentices, or skilled artisians, we have to know what "art" really is and understand things like shape, form, lines, chiaroscuro, style, etc.

How can we determine what is art if we dont' know what art is? or what to look for in art? Does taking Art 101 in college qualify one? Does having a BFA give a person the creds?

I like wine, prefer reds too, and I've drank a bunch of the grape juice over the years, some I liked, some I didn't, but I'm no expert connoisseur. Because I'm no connoisseur**does that mean I'm not allowed to drink any or say what I feel about it? Does it make me less qualified to judge if the wine is good or bad? There are some wines I like and those same ones my wife might not like. I've bought a lot of wine over time only cause the "packaging" looked interesting, I didn't take a copy of Wine Spectator with me to decide what was a great or mediocre wine, though in the end they were all packaged in the shape of a bottle that looked very similar from brand to brand--they even all had corks in them.


My point is I have a 2, 3.5, 5.5, 20, and 21 year old kids and they all will give you different definitions of art. Or to put it in jimmy's analogy, how does one know what vomit on canvas is supposed to look like if we haven't studied or seen it before? Does the fact we had a late night, stumbling drunk night, where we barfed on the pavement qualify us to judge barf on another medium? (some how I now picture jimmyd getting plastered on Jack Daniels and forcing himself to barf on canvas and selling them on his blog).

Step 1, learn the fundamentals of Art.
Step 2 learn the fundamentals of your craft and study the history of it
Step 3 define your genre within your craft
Step 4 study Art
Step 5 Experience trying to create Art in your craft
Step 6 Hone your skills, practice, practice, practice
Step 7 Create Art
Step 8 Show people your Art then go back to Step 1, it's a never ending process, we never start developing as "artists" nor do we ever finish creating, we only refine our style to establish it.

Again, nice topic, lots to discuss on this topic, wishing you the best, rg sends!
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Last edited by rolandogomez; 09-22-2006 at 02:05 PM..
 
Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 02:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think that before any of us can determine whether what the original poster defined as a 'snapshot' as art, we need to first define 'art' and what art is when it refers to photography. I would never degrade anyone's work if they called it art and I did not. Art, as so many have said in the past and always will, is in the eye of the beholder. Vomit on a floor to some may be something that makes them want to vomit as well (it would me), but to others, it may hang up after it dries/cures on a wall in the Smithsonian.

I would agree that photographers in general are craftsman as we create so many images, so many idea, etc., that are unique and take so much crafting to create. Successful photogs are able to take that craftsmanship and turn it into an income and marketable skill.

I would never say that photographs in general are art. But, some images taken do deserve to be matted, framed, and hung somewhere for all to see as the single image can say and reveal so much to others out of context.

As a wedding photog, I would never criticize another form of photography and degrade it....I would appreciate it for what it is, the pride the photographer has in it, and appreciate it for what it is--a photograph.....
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Re: Art or Craft?
Old 09-22-2006, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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btw....Glenn....the image in the original post is spectacular. It is one of my favorites that I have seen here on Glamour1.....just love it!
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