The art of photography

Photography is one of those practices where art and science come together. The result of photography is visual images presented on, or through, some kind of media. Initially it was a temporary image projection using technology as basic as a pin-hole opposite a back wall for the image to pass through and fall upon, as with camera obscura. As the science and technology evolved the portable camera was invented followed much later by film. It wasn’t until after film was invented that the art potential of photography was realised.

Fine art generally covers pictures, be they painted, drawn, or produced in other ways like photographically. Today we use technology to do a lot of our painting and drawing. We still provide the instruction on what image to paint or draw and how to lay them out, the choice of tones and colours etc, so even though technology is often used to replace the brush or pencil, the artistic creativity remains with the human.

Since the advent of digital science and technology, manipulating images has never been easier. A potential artist can try something and keep trying different manipulations without noticeable taxes on resources, or expense, in a way never available before to get their desired end-result. This is having a huge impact on the number of new artists entering the world of fine-art…so much new talent is being discovered, but not with the brush, rather with imagination for creativity and computer tools.

The skills with a brush are being matched with the skills of computerised drawing and image editing tools, all designed to move pigment or pixel data around. The art is in the vision and detail from which an image is produced. That is not to say the technical skills of the brush are any less admired! What we are achieving here is new fine-art genres. We are not pitting painting against photo-art, but rather creating new categories of fine-art—even though much digital art deriving from photographs is aimed at emulating drawn, or painted fine art.

What is it we admire in fine-art? The technical skill of the artist, the emotion we feel when we look at an image, the cognitive intrigue that holds our attention as we visually investigate every aspect found in an image! Competitions, or contests are a great place to see the subjectiveness in art. Will adjudicators lean towards cognitive intrigue, visual impact, or technical execution?

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