Photography is an art


Madelyn Knight, Photo Editor

We live in a world of visuals. Wherever we go, whether it’s to the mall, in school or even at home on the computer, visuals make their presence known to us. And in this world of visuals, it’s hard to distinguish what could be considered only a visual, or when it crosses the line of becoming an art form.

I was shocked when I first heard someone tell me that photography isn’t an art, with how much planning and focus goes into creating a photograph.

Art, according to Merriam Webster, is “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” This definition as it stands makes sense to me, as a photographer, as photography would be an art. However, many people believe that because the camera takes the photo, the artist is not actually responsible for the final product. I am the first to admit that I am horrible at drawing, painting and sculpting. But, put a camera in my hands, and I feel at home. I’m able to show people I’m at home.

Photography is complicated in every aspect. Knowing how to use the camera properly should be an art in itself, but to have an image in mind and make it happen is truly a magical thing. A photographer can capture the same amount of, if not more, emotion and feeling in a single photo as a painting or drawing. Photos are real. They convey what is truly happening in time, and freezes it forever.

To be fair, anyone can draw a picture of a tree, but not all of them are going to be these incredibly detailed drawings. Some will be basic, others will look insanely realistic. It’s the same concept with photography. Sure, anyone can take a photo, but only a few will be able to portray it in a way in which you feel something from that photograph. It takes practice, just like any other art form to get to the point where you feel like your photos are expressing exactly what you want to express. I am certainly not there, but I hope to get there one day.

One of my favorite photographers to read the “behind-the-scenes” of the makings of any one of his photographs is Tyler Shields. He’s a professional photographer and he will sometimes spend months searching for the perfect setting, prop, model, camera and lighting to make one picture exactly the way he wants. His photos are shown in galleries all around the world.

This is just one example of how a photographer is in control of what happens in their pictures. The camera is not in charge, the photographer is. Photos make people angry, they change perspectives, unveil the truth, bring joy to the heart and make you want to cry, because that is what art is supposed to do. And that’s exactly what photography is, an art.