Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Photography As Documentation or Art?

What is the perfect photograph? This is probably as complex a question as 'What is beauty?' This personal example sticks in my mind and I have used its lessons frequently:

A friend of mine loved to shoot macro. She shot spectacular photos where every detail of an insect, bug or butterfly could be richly enjoyed. She could document these creatures perfectly, much better than I could ever dream of doing. She had perfect photos of little creatures which lead me to question, but where is the twist? There was no twist, there was just the bug. It then occurred to me that maybe I need to dig deeper into the question of what is the difference between a gorgeous photo of a praying mantis that sits smack dab center of the frame and taking a photo with many more subtle complexities and calculated composition? Is the bug picture really art or is it the plain and simple documentation of a subject?

Just a photo of a flower or is this art?
As pure documentation, we all have seen reference books full of pictures of the subjects they are talking about. Take a butterfly reference book, for example. It has hundreds of perfect photographs of butterflies. Is it likely that the person checking this butterfly reference book out of the library had the intention of studying art? Maybe, but probably not. They checked it out to study butterflies. 

Let's turn the page to photography contests. So are we looking for the most "perfect" picture of a subject as documentation or are we looking for a how the subject is used to convey a feeling outside of  "oh, what a perfect picture of a ladybug"?

Alright, flip-side time. After all that being said, one then must consider the intention of the photographer. One could argue their intention was that the subject, in and of itself, IS the art. The beauty, lines and body composition of the insect or flower are the art-form. After all, there is no better artist than Mother Nature. 

I realize I have not answered any questions here but only brought forth more questions. However, at Ace Of Wands Photography, these questions are very important and make all the difference when I choose to click that shutter.


Please visit the ART GALLERY at where you can actually purchase not only wall art but totes, duvets, shower curtains, apparel, cups, tech accessories and more with your favorite custom art pieces applied! Very unique items. Take a peek. My art will constantly be changing. And thank you for your interest!

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