Photography, an art?

This blog post was inspired by Randi’s #wrtuesdays picture titled “The Type.”

Our new tweeting assignment has changed from finding articles related to writing, research and technology to posting pictures we believe are suitable to tell a story or express some sort of meaning. Easy right? Our generation has access to snap a photo with the click of a button. We no longer have to wave a Polaroid around in the air until it dries to see what the picture looks like. Every cell phone on the market now contains a camera, some with lenses better than ever anticipated. Zoom options and filters are at our fingertips. With the constant change in technology, I can search “photo apps” and get over a hundred results. All of these apps contain some sort of technology laced in them to change the original picture at hand. When we had a Polariod’s and film cameras, that was not the case. We had no clue what we took a picture of until it was printed or developed. There was no “I don’t like that, delete it. Let’s take another one.”

shake it like a polaroid

Image our social media world if we had to post pictures in their original state? Most people wouldn’t do that right? Filters are everyone’s best friends! I find it interesting that photography is so easily mistaken for a “hobby” and not an “art.” In Berger’s article, “Understanding a photograph,” he explains how art is valuable and should be treated as such.

Let me pose a question, are the pictures and selfies you take and upload to social media valuable? What do you get out of posting those pictures laced with filters and different effects to enhance the actual object in the image? Berger expresses that photographs have little or no property value due to their rarity.


Paintings and sculptures were often created once and only once by a single artist. This allowed them to produce a higher value and better quality. It was rare for someone to own that particular piece. Do we own our photographs? Essentially, yes but are they rare, no. Anyone can save a picture we have taken and uploaded and claim it as their own unless of course it is a selfie.

Going off of Randi’s image above, a keyboard, something we all use on a daily bases. Is that art? Taking a picture of a keyboard, I can take that exact picture in class, who’s portrays the higher value and which is more rare. These are all questions worth asking when it comes to photography being seen as an art. I enjoy taking pictures, probably too much but I do not consider my pictures an art because I do not view them in that way. Each picture I take often has a meaning behind why I am snapping the shot, and I enjoy going back and reliving those moments caught on camera.

camera quote

I have attached a link I believe expresses the way some photographs – not all can be seen as art or through the artist eye based on the quality and the image at hand. Oh, and they were all taken with a camera phone.


14 thoughts on “Photography, an art?

  1. I agree that it’s really hard to differentiate between what can be considered “art” and what could be considered pointless. Going off of Instagram – if we looked at a majority of our peers’ pages, chances are their photos are pretty meaningless in our eyes, or “basic.” Although, if you ask that specific person, they might have 1,000 reasons as to why they uploaded it. Art has always been subjective though, and it always will be.


  2. I love your quote, “I don’t like that, delete it. Let’s take another one.” If I lived back in the day and I had to wait for photos to be developed I would go crazy! I love my iPhone’s camera and my photo album on my phone is full. I believe that photography is art no matter what the circumstance may be. For example, my Instagram has many photos that some may find pointless, but I took them for a reason and that itself makes it art.


  3. I think that all of these pictures we take are becoming less and less valuable. Back when you only had once chance to get it right and if you didnt you had to put more work into getting the right shot; and when you did get the right shot there was much more work to get that picture printed and in your possession. today all of the pictures that we take rarely leave our phones or computers or social media. So yes they may be valuable but how valuable is something that you can so easily delete and retake over and over again until its just the way you want it.


  4. This may fall more on opinion than anything else but I would say that everything you take is art. You have judge this image ( whether it be yourself or something else) at that moment to be worthy of archiving in a picture. Other people can take a similar picture, yes, but that is not your picture as well as it wouldn’t be the same story behind it.


  5. I very much see photography as an art. Do I consider the photos I take an art? Probably not, because usually it’s just something I like and is not that very of quality. But for others it is definitely and art form. Photographers usually have a meaning behind what they are shooting, where I am just snapping because I think it looks pretty. My reasons for taking pictures is probably why I am having such a hard time with my photo essay topic because I have yet to really understand what a picture can do.


  6. First, thanks for using my photo! I am very conscious of what photos I post to social media. I, like you shared, carefully choose the right filter and make sure the picture is perfect before sharing it with others. It’s strange to think of the “what-ifs” when it comes to posting pictures. I think if we couldn’t delete or edit photos before they were posted, people would feel differently about themselves. The problem of body image that many of us face today may be eliminated if we only had the option to share our original photos. I think there would be more acceptance and less to judge when things were only given at face value. As for art and photography, I think this is what Berger raises to question. There are fine arts and then art, that’s my understanding or interpretation. And it is what’s in the photograph that establishes the artistic value.


  7. I think that there is an art in photography. I think there is even an art of selfie taking. I actually however do agree that for something to have value in today’s world it must be rare and original, however I think that photography is an entire different art. The composition of a picture, the reason you take a picture, the feelings that are expressed in the photo and the way you feel as you take the photo are what make it an art. The definition of art:” the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Does imply that photography is an art because it is expression and skill to get the right shot. Similar to paintings and sculptures, no one is better than the other, it is all about how each individual views them.


  8. Wow! very insightful blog with a lot of great ideas. Let me just say, if I am taking a selfie it is definitely getting a filter LOL. You raise a very good question if the photos we take on instagram or other social medias are an art. I don’t know if they are, I go back and forth with this. I do not think the pictures I take are an art, I just see them as a captured moment I would like to remember but I don’t think they have an underlying meaning. But maybe capturing a memory is an art too? I do think that they’re are a lot of professional photographers that snap pictures and share their art on social media accounts but some people may just scroll through it and not see any art in it just a picture. This is hard for me to even take a stance on it I guess because I do not consider myself an artist.


  9. This post was extremely insightful, because I had never thought about what the value is of the photos we post. Is there a value? Then I started wondering if who you are ups the value of a picture. Say that Beyonce uploads a selfie to Instagram. It gets a million likes. A student at Rowan uploads a selfie similar to Beyonce’s. It gets around 25 likes. Does your career or financial status affect your value in photographs? Unfortunately, I think it does. While I don’t think it should be that way, it definitely does, and I can’t exactly put my finger on why. Berger says that photographs don’t have much value, but I think that it depends on who’s photos you’re looking at.


  10. I like ow you point out that filters are our friends. I know when I put a picture up on Instagram I make sure that I edit it as much as possible. Whether it’s because I’m vain or because I want the picture to look nice is a matter of subjective opinion. But like you, none of my selfies areal unable. I agree that picture taking has become a hobby because we are generation seeking self gratification and validation from others that we’re “good looking” enough.


  11. A very insightful and relatable post! I think everyone can agree that pictures are something forming our society today. As you mentioned, it is extremely easy to just take out our phone and snap a photo. It seems as if the meaning behind the photos has changed throughout the years. Today, it is more for the ability to be looked at and admired. I don’t think anyone disregards the filter process of their pictures. It’s as if skipping the filter doesn’t make the picture “acceptable” today. Filters enhance the quality in some cases but in most, it makes pictures look nearly opposite of the original. With technology, pictures have seemed to loose their authenticity. Every selfie has a blur effect or face transformation, every ocean has a color adjustment, every sunset has a filter. Nothing is the original.


  12. I have seen what real photography looks like not just the photographs but the action of them being captured and that is in fact an art but for those that are just snaping pictures here and there for whatever reason, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, whatever social media they want to share it with is not art. That is this generations need of acceptance and the need to show off their life, like we all care so much. What they are doing is not an art but what I have seen of real photography, the passion of the photographer, the perfect setting and background, the over all feel of the photograph, that is art. I feel as if photography and pictures are two different things, pictures are the nonart version of photography.


  13. It is crazy the way that technology is coming about. I remember getting my first camera phone, and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. Now, if I got that pink razor back, none would seem to be quite as impressed. I use a lot of filters when I Snapchat people because they have cool ones like the time, temperature, and they make blue eyes look bluer. It would be crazy if we had to post the original of every photograph. After trying to find a Polaroid camera for my photo essay, I cannot imagine how taking photos used to be. I used a disposable camera and it was a pain to get the pictures developed. On an iPhone, when you do not like the way it came out, or the flash was to bright, you can take another one and delta the old one. However, with a Polaroid or disposable, you are unaware of the photos appearance until after you took the picture and had it developed. It sucks!


  14. I believe that photography is an art because it helps capture, tell a story and makes us think. Many technical photographers do magnificent work in the way of recording what the world has.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s