What is Photography : Photography, Both Tool and Art

December 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Photography Articles

What is Photography : Photography, Both Tool and Art

Article by Samuel Mckenzie

The term photography has been coined from the ancient Greek words for light, phos or photo, and drawing, graph. Photography can certainly be described as drawing with light, as it consists of light being used to imprint an image onto a light-sensitive medium.

Humans have been creating images since the first cave drawings around 20,000 years or so ago. Photography now makes it possible to create a realistic image within a split second, something that would easily have taken even the most skilled of artists days, if not weeks to do.

Today, photography touches the lifes of millions, not only by crystallising memories, but also as a powerful tool of communication. Newspapers, magazines and the television use photography to provide information and advertise myriads of services and products.

Every aspect of life, from medical diagnosis and astronomy to industrial uses like quality control and even security measures everywhere we go makes use of photography. It extends our vision into the realms invisible or too fast for the eye to see and allows us to view situations in places too dangerous to enter.

It can provide pleasure by bringing back memories or simply because it is beautiful. It allows us to see things we might otherwise never have the opportunity to experience.

It is also being recognised more widely as a form of fine art, although this has not always been the case. Many critics did, and some still do so now, believe that as the image is created by a mechanical device it could not be a form of creativity.

As it is, just like the brush in a painter’s hand, it is not the tool that makes the final image, it is the person using it. Without the photographer using it, deciding on the distance, the angle, the light and the general composition of the image to be taken, a camera is nothing but a lifeless object.

In the hands of the right person, whether used as a hobby or a a career, even a camera can create a work of art.

Today photography is widely recognized as a fine art. Photographs are displayed in art museums, prized by collectors, discussed by critics, and studied in art history courses. Because of the special nature of photography, however, this was not always the case. In the early days of photography some people considered the medium something of a poor relation to the older, established visual arts, such as drawing and painting. The arguments stemmed from the fact that a camera is a mechanical instrument. Because the mechanical procedure of taking a picture is automatic, detractors claimed that photography required no coordination of hand and eye and none of the manual skills essential to drawing and painting. They also argued that photography required no creativity or imagination because the photographic subject was “ready-made” and did not require manipulation or control by the photographer.

Samuel is working as Photography Jobs consultant and photography career adviser specially about What is Photography as he had got experiences as a photographer and had researched about Photography gallery for his website.

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