Click to enlarge.
I especially like the thunderstorm shot.
A lot of people like that one. I don’t take any pride in it, though. Shots like that are just luck, whereas the painter can conjure it on an empty canvas.
There is something to be said for the photographer’s eye; though it certainly differs from the painter’s hand. A young lady of your acquaintance takes some pretty amazing pictures of ordinary things using a phone camera. She sees beauty in things where most of us see clutter and ugliness — power poles and cell towers amidst trees and the like, or even trash. The aesthetic power of a good photographer’s composition is as real as the painter’s or sculptor’s ability to capture and present the good, the true, and the beautiful.
Finally, something to argue about.
There is something to be said for the photographer’s eye; though it certainly differs from the painter’s hand.
Why are we comparing hands and eyes? The photographer’s eye can be as artistic as the painter’s, but the photographer’s hand and the painter’s hand do entirely different things, so different as to be incomparable.
The aesthetic power of a good photographer’s composition is as real as the painter’s or sculptor’s ability to capture and present the good, the true, and the beautiful.
Actually, the photographer’s rendition is *more* real, since reality is all he has to work with. For the painter, the good ones, that’s just the starting point. This, for example. It’s unfinished, but I could stare at it all day. There was no photography back then, so the artist had to conceive it, draw it (another skill in itself, separate from painting), and paint it.
Now that young lady you mention, one of the finest I’ve ever met and to whose detriment I would never utter a single word, also likes to paint. Why don’t you ask her which of the two skills should be called a craft and the other an art?
(I of course exempt my own work from this discussion, since the mediocrity of my talent requires that most pieces have a photographic predecessor. A few are made up, but also entirely unmemorable.)
History is an interesting thing here. Painting began to change in the latter half of the 19th century with the advent of – you guessed it – photography. A lot of painters felt they could no longer merely re-present what they saw in nature, because now the camera could do it and do it better. I think they were wrong, but just my two cents.
I wish I could argue, but I can’t seem to find something to argue against. We don’t appear to disagree that the composition of different photographers can be aesthetically like night and day. I would even assert that most photographers have terrible composition: like painting it can be learned to some extent, but the really excellent ones are ‘naturals’.
(I suppose I might quibble that the amount of reality each artist has to work with differs as much in degree as in kind).
It follows that as the photographer you at least deserve some credit for striking composition; unless, like me, your digital approach is more ‘spray and pray’ followed by a massive culling of the 95% terrible shots to extract the inevitable randomly good 5%.
It is kind of sad what photography has done to ‘realist’ painting.
You’re being entirely too reasonable.
I would be curious to know whether any photographers employ classical painting’s compositional techniques. In the book excerpted in this post, Juliette Aristides explains that those techniques were mostly lost even to painters with the onset of modernism. They’re making a comeback, mostly through the establishment of what are called ateliers, schools that artists attend where they learn from a master. These compositional schemes were occasionally complicated, but I don’t see why they couldn’t be incorporated by the photographer. Time permitting, I might post a couple pages from the book to show you what I mean.
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Some thoughts on religion and the culture at large. Fallibility is presumed, infrequently confessed.
...a novel, is available at Amazon.com and on Kindle. I advertise it because I wrote it.
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