just a thought i had in the evolution of my perception of the medium of photography. With all of the amateur photographers out there (we are all amateur photographers now that almost everyone at least has a camera at least on their phone that really everyone has).
and so after such battles in affirming the medium as an art form, is it being abused at this point?
think of all the kind of ridiculous vernacular photography that might as well be a photo album on blown up on a gallery wall. (not to say that some vernacular photography can't give you those amazing beauty shivers or make you laugh or make you feel something kind of like art does)
but back to the point
my thought at the most simple: is that photography is the absolute best visual documentary tool that exists. I am going to excuse myself here from entering the subject of film by sticking to a comparison between methods of producing a static image.
so as a documentary tool, photography is at its best. i am aware this may be a matter of opinion.
the other extremely particular capability that cameras have involves their relationship with light. think of the impressionists fascination with the wild and ever-changing phenomenon.
so between light and documentation, photography has a pretty big responsibility.
so where does the element of art get involved?
that is where, for me, it becomes much easier once you've narrowed down the strengths of the medium.
Then you can really enter into the traditional questions of texture, form, line, color, value, shape, references...and proportion, composition, contrast, format...to really analyze the image and determine its success as a work of art.
the objectivity never ends, of course.
and what about people like me who are mesmerized by the concept of the photo essay as a selectively edited body of work, and a composition, rather than a group of independent characters.
hey, that sounds like a fashion show, too.