The Photographer – The Artist?

037I am a photographer, if you extend the definition not only to professionals, but to anyone who likes to make pictures.

But am I an artist?

Artists create, that’s a fact. They create art, be it pictures, sculptures, music… anything. I do not create anything. I just fix light on film (or pixels for that…). I do not create! I take something that already exists and make it live longer – for ever – as a picture.

But hey, that’s creation, no? So I’m an artist… confusing, isn’t it?022There are many kinds of photography, just as there are many painting styles and techniques. You can arrange still lives to photograph them after carefully applying lighting, you can make portraits that show the soul of the subject….. My kind of photography is rather street, with or without people. Nothing prearranged, nothing set up. Just the fabled ‘decisive moment’. Mind you, I won’t dare to compare myself to the masters of the genre!

So my part of the ‘art’ is to see something worth a picture. A detail of a building, a person in a certain situation, a reflection in a window…

Sorry I know it’s color… šŸ˜‰

Well, in fact I think you can call that ‘ART’. I found that people often wonder why I make a photograph of some unassuming detail. They don’t see the potential, they don’t already have the impression of the finished photograph. Later, when they see the picture they go ‘hey, nice!’ (hopefully).IMG_0338Like a sculptor who can visualise the form hidden in a block of stone or wood, I visualise the finished photograph. Sounds like I’m too much taken in by myself, no? Sorry, I don’t want to give that impression.

On the other hand, someone becomes an artist when his work is recognised by the so called art community – or some unwitting people with too much money on their hands.

An artist earns money with his work Sometimes posthumously, often not that much, but he is able to get some reward, other than praise, from his work.

I don’t!016So that makes it clear, I am not an artist! I am a simpleĀ photographer and will stay so!

As always, thanks for reading!


4 thoughts on “The Photographer – The Artist?

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  1. I like your reference to the ‘art community’ which implies some sort of widely recognised consensus among some secret group of Illuminati who are supposed to be ones peers. It reminds me of the ‘peer review’ process in academia, and how in reality those who review are never, ever one’s peers. It’s incredible how the world is filled with misnomers and contradictions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very right! ‘Art community’ and ‘scientific community’ are mostly the thing a that inhibit progress and innovation in science as well as art.


  2. Nice thoughts on being or not being an artist, Frank! It can totally find myself in the definition: “So that makes it clear, I am not an artist! I am a simple photographer and will stay so!”
    Sometimes people ask me if I don’t want to get more professional with the photography I do. I always have to answer this with: “Why should I do that? I’m just taking pictures and it’s fun to me :)” Doing this for fun gives me the ability to “create” whatever I want šŸ™‚
    When anybody wants to call my photography some sort of art, they are free to do that. I’d be touched šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, when your hobby becomes your job you love a big part of the freedom you had. You have to do what pleases others, not yourself. Let’s stay bloody amateurs!

      Liked by 1 person

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