To be a photographer

| December 21, 2007

Many people think that photography isn’t an art because things are depicted as they are. This simply isn’t true! The work of a photographer also entails choosing what he shall describe.

Photographers shoot all they see. It seems an easy and cheap task. How can a mechanical process be made to produce artistic pictures?

This has been one of the aesthetic questions of the eighteenth century. Photography is the product of knowledge and sensibility, trial and error and empirical experiment.

“Will the industry invade the territory of art?” Baudelaire asked himself. Today we could answer him “No, it won’t. Look at some photographs. The variety of their imagery is prodigious: the light, the viewpoint, the change in print tonality.”

Shooting a photo is less simple than it seems. You can study photo, you can learn as a photographer does. Photographers learn in two ways: from an intimate understanding of their tools and materials and from other photographs. If you can’t go to a photography exhibition, you can study John Szarkowski’s The Photographer’s Eye, a visual history of photography.

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