Since the world has turned to digital photography I feel that photography itself has lost its status as art.
I started my education as a photography student in a basic photography class. After that, the next class offered was a black and white class. I was taught how to use a dark room and how to use chemicals to develop my own film and develop my own pictures. When I was done with my finished product, I felt a sense of accomplishment. That sense came from hands on work to create a piece of art. Now all it takes to make a photo is the click of a button, uploading it to a computer and printing it out.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, art is defined as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination in the production of aesthetic objects.” With Photoshop and all the other programs out there used to manipulate photos, imagination during the process of creating that photo is no longer needed. Some argue that by manipulating a photograph in Photoshop makes that photograph art, but then it’s no longer a photograph and it becomes a Photoshop image.
Before digital photography or even color photography a lot of work went in to making a photograph. Back in the day, to make a color photograph artists would hand paint the image to make it color.
Northern Michigan University is even taking the art out of photography. They just recently replaced their black and white photography class with a digital photography class and now an art and design student can’t get into the amazing dark room facility the art building has until they get into upper level classes.
Photography is not an art anymore, but a way to preserve a moment in time. I wish that we could go back to the days of the dark room because there was nothing more I loved then spending an entire day there. I do realize with the fast-paced life today that it would be impractical and impossible. I just hope that the dark room process won’t be forgotten forever.