Photography and art photography
Someone has asked me to be a little clearer about the differences between photography and art photography. (Yes, I know. Me trying to be clear isn’t always easy!) The best way I can do this is to show you a couple of examples, I think.
As you know, Andy walks on the beach every morning at dawn taking his photographs. He uploads them straight away to various social media. If any quick editing is to be done, it’s done right there and then with the scene in front of him – all on the cell phone.
There is a photographer who also takes regular dawn shots on the beach. He is a great photographer and captures the state of the beach at that time. Viewers can see straight away whether it’s a cloudy day, whether the ocean is calm enough for a gentle swim or boisterous enough for surfing. His photographs show the clouds which gives us an idea about the later weather. They are informative and helpful. I’m sure that he would be the first to say that he is a photographer and not an art photographer. As a photographer, he captures reality to let us know exactly the state of the ocean and the beach.
The art photographer on the other hand isn’t a photo-journalist. He or she wants to capture something different – a mood, a moment. The photographer and the art photographer have different goals and they see the world through different eyes. I’m trying to decide if it’s correct to say that a photographer wants to inform the world and an art photographer wants to enrich the world? The reason I’m wondering is because I don’t want that to sound in any way insulting to photographers … apologies if it came across that way … informing the world is arguably more important than enriching the world.
The only place I could capture an image of the two together was from Facebook. They had been posted at the same time. I imagine that the photographer’s photograph had been taken a little before Andy’s because he has watermarked them. (That’s the black square in the bottom right. I blacked it out not to prevent him getting credit for his work but, Facebook being Facebook, the number of likes and shares are a tad embarrassing).
Here are the two images – photography and art photography as seen together on Facebook.