Photography, craft vs. artistry.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by elrick, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. elrick

    elrick TPF Noob!

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  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Arguments like that have been knocking around for many years. Some people will say one thing, some the other. A few may even say both.
    It is one of the many spurious and pointless arguments that abound in Photography - and stem from basic ignorance.
    Is the writer talking about the PROCESS of Photography or about the ACT of Photography? He is not seem to be aware of the differences (or indeed that there ARE differences).
    Photography is fundamentally a science: it is how the science is applied (and to what end) that he is arguing about - and the bottom line to that is: are you doing it for money or are you doing it for love?
    But at the end of the day, does it matter? If one person wants to call himself a craftsman and another an artist, let them. It won't affect how I use photography. Nor, I suspect, will ir affect anyone else.
     
  3. elrick

    elrick TPF Noob!

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    and the two can not be combined together?
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    if you do it for money it becomes commercial art, so it has to be one or the other. They are mutually exclusive
     
  5. bitterillusions

    bitterillusions TPF Noob!

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    I just want to say, I don't agree w/ this statement in anyway... The way I look at it, art is a craft, and thus photographyis both... I do think money is much a matter. I take pictures because I love to do it. But being a photographer, you have to have money, because it cost a lot for camera's lens, printing, and even developing... So I sell it to get something back. Does that take away from the fact it was created from love and want to do it?

    I don't know if anything I just said made any sence... but yeah... there it is... what I think...
     
  6. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    I see where Bitter is coming from. I've studied art for most of my 31 years and I don't consider myself a craftsman... I strive to be an artist. Honestly i want to make tremendous amounts of money from my art so I can do nothing but create art. Plus If I didn't sell art it would be tossed in the trash or be piled in mounds around my house...i have too much art supplies and too little space to hang on to art. It has to be considered disposable by the artist no matter how much you love a piece because there is always something better afoot.

    I think a craftsman is someone who creates functional work. Chairs, houses, etc... trade skills. And in some cases, as Bitter also stated, the procedures of creating art- like darkroom processing, touches a craft skill. So would building a canvas from raw lumber and and un-stretched canvas. I can spend hours shaping the wood just right and have the perfect consistency of gesso for the canvas, using my artistic education to accomplish a craft which will be later used to create art.

    Elrick, I think a happy medium would resemble "folk art". Most folk art is created by craftsman. People who have been taught a craft such as woodworking and applying it to art in a more direct way. And it shows.

    But all in all Hertz has a valid point. What is art? One person's wobbly chair can be another's Shellnut(a lesser known sculptor who makes chairs, non functional oddly enough :lol: ).
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    My problem when I was a pro was that I loved Photography so much I felt guilty asking for money for doing it. Sort of 'I get PAID as well? Wow!'
    But I always kept it clear in my head as to why I was doing it.
    If I was being arty then I didn't care if people liked my work or not. I liked it and that was what mattered.
    If I was doing it for money (being a craftsman* if you like) then I was aware that I had to produce something the client liked and my personal tastes did not enter into it.


    *I really hate that word - especially when used to describe Photography. My dictionary defines it as 'one who practices a handicraft'! That's making twee little figures out of pine cones, or knitting toilet roll covers....
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I agree with the idea that while you can do your own work exclusively for yourself with no regard for the likes or dislikes of others, you must compromise with the client for paid work. On the other hand, I assume that when a client chooses to hire me, it's because they like my style, so I can't completely abandon that either.

    The thing with all these labels (fine art, craft, professional, etc...) is that they can mean something different to any particular person. When in doubt about a word's meaning the first place I go is the dictionary. One thing I noticed when looking up "art" and "craft" is that they are each the first word listed on the other word's list of synonyms.
     
  9. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    Thus the everpresent fine line...Matt, yer such a pureist!! (that's a complement in my book) I can barely keep my feet on the ground bro. :lol:
     
  10. John E.

    John E. TPF Noob!

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    Seems to be a matter of semantics to me.
     
  11. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I agree. That's a tough line. I usually comprimise with myself by selecting a few shots that I think can be both artistic and pleasing to the client. I also try to meet with them and get to know them so that when I am shooting I have their preferences in mind.

    And I also agree with Hertz that's it's really odd to get paid for this. It's a service, but for me it's so much fun it doesn't seem right to ask for money.
     
  12. elrick

    elrick TPF Noob!

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    so one of keywords is "money"? If photograph first made for the pleasure, and sold afterwards it's sure is art, and if it's made for the client, it depends of the client?
     

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