It never crossed my mind to think photography is anything less than art. Art is visual and it is a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired by practice, or it comes naturally to a person. Art could be anything, an art of conversation, cooking, dancing, singing, writing, acting and many more things. So of course photography is an art.
It is ludicrous to think that because a photograph is taken with “a mechanical recording medium” and it cannot “elevate the imagination” it’s not art, these notions are unjust. Paintings and Photographs are somewhat of the same thing, both have the same end result, which is putting to print a captured image. Paintings are works of art, that a lot of time and painstaking patience is dedicated, to arrive at the artist desired finished work, while a photograph is instant in capturing of the image, just a click of a button on a camera and the image is captured forever.
It is argued that the simplicity of which a photograph is taken, does not make it art, which is not so. Photographs are also entertaining and intriguing like other aspects of arts. Photographers have from a varied source of mediums from inanimate to animate objects or living and non-living things to choose from to convey their messages. Photographers have to be alert and precise, in order for them to capture their perfect photographs, for example, raging sea storms, tornadoes, fire outbreak, animals in their natural habitat etc. A photograph makes such scenes more realistic, passing on the message more vividly than a painting can, especially with the fact that the photograph is instant and has to be captured directly at the scene.
To capture a good photograph, it takes a great sense of art and awareness in order to capture an image in all its beautifying glory and elegance, just like an artist with a brush, a photographer has to be in tune with his or her subject.
One of the greatest photography work I have seen and lucky come across is ‘Still Intensity…Samuel Beckett’ by Jane Bown. She is able to capture every single daunting detail about Samuel Beckett’s face and the background of the image reflects on the mastery of the subject that the photograph is a masterpiece in its own right.
Rounding off, a photograph captures the purest of arts as photography has made it possible to capture and record once in a lifetime occurrences and many more things that will be passed on from generation to generation as we are in the digital age, the 21st century and no longer in the time of Henri Cartier-Bresson.