Photography: Craft and Art

In Art, Articles, Philosophy, Photography, Videos, Words by Ben

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Photography is both a Craft and an Art.

It has its genesis in chemistry laboratories and the private sheds of curious alchemists who sought to preserve the passing moment.

It’s now caught up with Instagram on iPhones and hipsters with Lomo ‘cameras’; image trumps technique.

As ever, the successful marriage meets halfway between craft and art.

Most new photographers believe that technique ought to pay second fiddle to ‘seeing’ a picture; or just snapping what’s there.

Some photographers go too far the other way, worrying about sharpness, MTF charts and absolute colour fidelity with monitor profiling.

The more I learn, and the more I teach, the more apparent it becomes that photography can be quite straightforward; there’s no great mystery. Patterns emerge that previously lay undiscovered. Ordo Ab Chao.

It is sitting atop this Hegelian high-horse with the temptation to ride it around whooping that I’m reminded of Taoism’s analogy of fighting against the flow of a river. Often it is the serendipity of unplanned happy accidents that gives birth to the images that sear themselves into the mind.