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How did photography turn into a controversial art?



Since the invention of photography and the capture of the first photo was perceived as a craft technique that could not compete with works of art, because it did not care about imagination. For a long time the concept of photography as a documentary mechanical medium remained nothing more. The controversy over the omnipresence of photography continued, arguing that the camera mimics only what is in front of it, that is, the image is a simple and impersonal reproduction of reality, and therefore cannot be considered art.


When we analyze the relationship between art and photography, we find a contradiction in the media: art requires ingenuity and ability that not everyone has, while a camera is a machine that anyone can simply master.

Most critics have agreed that art is subjective and dependent on interpretation, so usually if the image generates different meaning or interpretations it can be considered art, and at the same time it can be used for purely utilitarian purposes.


Photography uses the language of visual elements, rather than words, so it can be used for artistic or other purposes, and photography serves its dual purpose without any contradiction.


What distinguishes a true artist is that it has a message that it seeks to convey, and the viewer’s ability to interpret the image gives the artist the freedom to ask questions rather than provide answers, which, like any form of visual art, exploits the weaknesses of human visual perception, and can make us feel empathy or hate.

Why does photography affect deeply?

Unlike painting photography requires the presence of a real physical object to take a picture of. This fact is why we perceive any image as something more realistic than any visual representations of reality. This trait is one of the most important features of photography, and it took some time for artists who chose photography as a means of creative expression to understand this trait.


The portrait painters formed the first group of photographers, heavily influenced by the traditions and techniques of painting, and therefore did not realize the hallmark of photography and only presented their work as photographic paintings.

Despite the deep visual appeal of photography, artists who chose to switch to photography developed new techniques to distance themselves from being mere artisans, and these ideas emerged during the early years of photography, when photographers were limited to photographing static people and objects.


The first artistic experiments in photography

Thanks to the German photographer Oscar Barnack who invented the first accurate camera with a 35-millimeter lens. Due to technological development, photography began to emancipate.

Later, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson developed photographic techniques and invented the term “decisive moment” which became a sign of his style, describing it to his innumerable followers and disciples. Bryson’s idea is to capture spontaneous images at a moment’s notice, and the idea of spontaneity has greatly influenced audiences and made photography more believable.


Photography represents reality and cannot exist without it. Photography, on the other hand, enables us to distort or change reality with varying degrees of accuracy, which is why Surrealists embrace photography so strongly. Using all the techniques and semantics they were able to create images that look very personal, in the sense that each spectator tends to interpret the image based only on his personal perception.

One notable difference between painting and photography is that drawing is complex and difficult to master, while technology has allowed anyone to take a technically sound photo and accidentally shoot a masterpiece, so when a perfect photograph comes out some think it is something that is not worth talking about.


But a good understanding of the characteristics of light and photographic techniques does not turn a person into an artist, and it is this uncomplicated characteristic that characterizes photography that makes photographers look for the factors that turn photography into art, they also try to use it as a means of expressing their different view of the world, in an attempt


Photography and communication platforms

With the rise of social media platforms the public began to view more and more images. This great demand for photography has improved the capabilities of cameras in personal phones, competing with cameras in terms of resolution, focus and color. Through instant sharing and the ability to upload photos, the camera faded backwards and the phone cameras advanced.

Although not everyone can become a photographer, a real photographer is not the one who takes dozens of selfies a day, but the one who turns his idea and vision into a journalistic or artistic image.


On the other side there are pluses for those platforms and that instant ability to post photos, which is that photographers rely heavily on social media to promote their photos, away from galleries and art brokers.


Social media advocates say that the moving image is reaching a larger and less exclusive audience thanks to social media, as one no longer needs to move around or live in big cities to access art shows, but at the same time the audience of the communication platforms does not represent the whole audience so it becomes closer to exchanging one marginalized audience for another.


Concluded the source that the two methods complement each other, as social media can attract more viewers to the galleries and exhibitions, and those who cannot go personally have a chance to see the photography online.




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