sore point / 1 October, 2005 [click for previous image: (re)presenting graffiti]
sore point / 1 October, 2005 [click for next image: untitled #0001]
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Title • sore point

Ok, here's another interesting question that arose during yesterday's discussion: what makes a photograph a piece of art (rather than, say, a documentary record, or snapshot, or something else entirely)?

Tim commented yesterday that my photography was "... certainly not art", rather it is "sentimental craft—pretty colours and nice lines, but no feeling, no heart, nothing that challenges ideas and preconceptions". So, for a photograph to be considered art it must demonstrate feeling, or 'heart', and it must also challenge the viewers ideas and preconceptions about the world in some way. Personally, I think this is an overly restrictive and highbrow definition, but I know what he means – this isn't an uncommon view within the art (critic) world.

As for how I think my work relates to his point: sure, I wouldn't claim that everything I put up could meet these criteria, and not every shot I put up even aspires to them (there are many reasons to take photographs, and many forms of photography), but I wouldn't want to concede that all of my images "... are not art [and] never have been". So, back to the question, what makes a photograph a piece of art?

Oh, and the title for this one shouldn't be read as a commentary on the above: I'd named this one prior to knowing what I was going to write this evening.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.04pm on 24/9/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
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