Saturday, November 10, 2007

A bee in my bonnet 4

On photography

I have a problem with photography. With photography as an art, to be precise. I just can't seem to be able to take it seriously (even if it's not exactly gagging for my approval). You see, to me it just shall I put it? Too easy. I mean, where's the effort involved in putting together a piece of art? I was watching a documentary on photography a few days ago and it showed the brilliant photographer Henri Cartier Bresson at work. He walks around with his little Leica hidden behind him and when he sees his perfect composition coming together, he whips out his camera and goes 'click!, click!'. C'est tout! (as he may have exclaimed). That's it? No agonizing over the canvas? No tossing and turning over the inability to find the perfect 'blue'? No spending months and years observing a landscape in changing light? None of that suffering and just a few clicks? Which leads me to wonder if the superiority of an art is directly proportional to the sufferance of the artist? I don't know. It just seems as if photography, at least to me, is not as substantial an art as say painting is. There's no bulk to it, if you know what I mean. Convince me otherwise, won't you?

p.s. also, will someone please tell me who clicked the Tantex hoarding in Vyasarpadi?


meerkat said...

cartier bresson is a true artist. he is the master of composition, technique and timing.

the same camera in my hand will not be able to capture the mood and emotion of the situation. it is not just a pretty picture, it tells you more than that. i makes you think and provokes your imagination about the subject. in the case of cartier bresson his indian photographs apart are a great legacy of our past.

a true artist is one who creates a vision of beauty, complexity, subtlety, imagery in a single picture. a truly great photographer can elevate his craft to an art. just because he presses a button to instantaneously capture his vision does not mean that he is not a true artist.

a professional photographer will often suffer for his craft. the amount of hours spent preparing for the shot, the time spent waiting for the right moment and in olden times, the time spent developing the film all make it a very arduous task much beyond just pressing a button.

i can never reconcile with the idea of tracy emin's unmade bed being a work of art. to me that is just lazy, celebrity powered, publicity fuelled art

S m i t h a said...

lol... although miserable artists are better at what they do than the happy ones, art cant be judged by the misery of the artist. i think, the superiority is determined by how many learned people appreciate the art.
dont u agree it takes less talent to repeat a dialog verbatim than to actually think & write it? but yet we celebrate actors more than we do writers.

The Kid said...

Isn't it cruel to not appreciate the art for what it is, and what the creator wanted to portray, and undermine the beauty by double guessing the effort?

Anonymous said...

The magic of photography and writing is simply reflected in me right now as a unbearable curiosity on what is there in that tantex photo at vyasarpadi ....

:))) ... man oh man.

Anonymous said...

I'm torn with this. In the beginning, I thought along the same lines as yours - I did not take it seriously. But after I picked up my camera, after I explored others' images - sometimes, it can be extraordinary, in the breadth of emotions and events and human landscapes that it can capture. If you're looking for human gritty reality, choose photography, not paintings(Good example from the blogosphere? Trivial Matters / Akshay's blog).

If you're looking for fantasy, browse paintings first.

It depends on what you look for in art, I think.

yezdi said...

Here's a link...visit and decide, if photography is an art or not:

The Young Saint said...

whats this Tantex hoarding thing?

Can you somehow post the pic. here?