Art and Creativity – The Short Answer

I just read a question on Flickr. Someone asked if certain kinds of graphics software is taking the art and creativity out of photography. This was my short reply.

I’ll be gentle:-)

Where does the “ART and CREATIVITY” lay?

When you take a shot you choose the subject, the angle, the lighting, the lens choice, the composition and several other possibilities.

When you process you choose a colour palette, a dynamic range, what to emphasize and what to de-emphasize, to make it literal or fantastic or in between, plus several other choices.

When you print you choose a paper and a printer and a size and maybe a crop, then maybe a frame, with or without a matt, etc.

And behind all the above what do you want your picture to communicate?

None of these can be answered by software or a camera no matter what kind of clever settings and adjustments they may include. Some parts of the craft can be automated but you would still need to know when to use them or not and how much.

Only you can be an artist.

And only when you are somewhat down that road will you begin to find out what it means to be an artist in the eyes of other people. For only then will you hear “Wow you must have a really good camera.”

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