Politics, Religion, Art, Photography, etc.
A discussion thread on the Flickr site, in a group established around a particular camera, includes several personal statements as well as some open explorations on that the member who posted it calls a photographic “Paradigm Shift”. In his last two paragraphs, working professional photographer, and Nikon reviewer, Gerard Prins, makes a couple of personal statements:
Purpose lies not in choosing Nikon over Canon (or v.v.), but it does in purposely & knowingly choosing…(my edit).. purposely breaking the rules and purposely pursuing a personal style or point of view.
Purpose combined with talent creates Art, and creating Art is reserved – thank heavens – to those who purposely dedicate their lives to doing so.
Let’s all thank digital for largely eliminating the technical barriers that once separated amateur from pro, allowing amateurs to raise the bar a notch or two and forcing all of us to – once again – concentrate on what photography is all about: talent, beauty & art.
That’s a point of view, alright –one that’s echoed a Lot in so many places. The last segment of that last sentence is one that finally moved me to respond, though, as it seeks to assert “what photography is all about”.
That merely raises the question mark, in me, but it’s the question that I believe each of us answers in some way or other, unique to “who” each of us is, at any one point in time, and to what our personal vision inspires us to attempt or to stand for.
Like politics and religion, “What is photography about?”, is at Best, the question that we each can use to true ourselves up to a vision.. or at Worst it is the question that can be used to “justify” or argue (same difference) a point of view ( to be “right” about it, in a limiting way).
At it’s most neutral, and most profound, though, photography is about
1) whatever the person who practices it is about
2) whatever the viewer perceives it to be about
3) whatever any of us can invent it to be about from here forward.