The "Is there a point..." thread has got me thinking (again) about "Craft" vs. "Art"; something I've thought about a lot over the years. Here's my take: I consider myself a craftsman, not an artist. I am, by training, by job title, and by both vocation and avocation, a theatrical lighting technician. In short, I take other people's ideas and bring them to life. Most of what I do for "fun" (web design, and to some extent my photography) is the same way. I'm not creating anything terribly original, but I'm doing something (I feel is) interesting with what's already there. At times the things I'm making do cross the line to become art, but it's rare, and I'm okay with that. To me, the artist is the one who has a vision of something that is new in the universe, and the craftsman is the one who makes that vision real. Sometimes, it can be the same person. A painter, sculptor or photographer may be an artist who executes the craft as well. Other times the artist must give their vision to craftmen to make it real. While an artist my compose a symphony, all of the musicians who play the music and make it real for the audience are the craftsmen. Of course, not everyone who writes a symphony is an artist, but I won't get into that distinction, because defining art is more work than I'm willing to put into this post. And many people who make their livings as craftsmen, are artists in their spare time. In every art, there is craft. In photography, I think this is more apparent than in many other art forms that are done essentially "solo". In order to create your art, you must know your craft. Having a vision in your head, doesn't make it to film (or CCD) unless you're very lucky, or you know your craft (and sometimes it takes both). I think that's why I love photography. I can work on the craft endlessly and, for me, the art is secondary. Other people who have a different temprament, may find the craft aspect a "neccessary evil" in the creation of their art. And that's what makes photography such a great thing in my mind. We all start from the same raw materials (the real world) and turn it into something that no one has seen, or will see the same way. Dang, I'm all philisophical and stuff this morning.