Daily Archives: July 1, 2013

Changing the capture into art

Is this a bit presumptuous of me I wonder?


One of the questions that often rises is “am I doing art or am I deluding myself?”.  What segregates art from a photograph or snap as it is often referred to?

Well I think, and this is of course open to debate, what separates photographic art from a snap is the photographers intent.  If one takes a capture and then takes time to alter it, improve it, convey a message, and can articulate why then in my opinion it becomes art.  The quality of the art is then the subjective view of the audience and is governed by the individuals taste.

So how does one go about changing the photograph to art.  Well it can be done in as many different ways as one would like to try.  An example may help.


Yesterday I went out into my backyard and photographed the steps and paving leading into our swimming pool.  As a raw photo it has a few elements that make it an ok abstract capture,  nice lines, tonal and texture changes. However it is just a snap with nothing more than the few elements discussed above.


However if we now change a few things such as darkening the pool area by adjusting the blue slider in the Photoshop B&W tool then we now are changing the nature of the image.  The pool becomes dark and perhaps threatening, certainly less inviting.  We can also emphasise the pattern in the sandstone tiles making them more attractive and thereby more inviting and safe.

With the step tile pattern still slightly visible the invitation to descend is still there.  However it descends into inky blackness, a not so attractive path.  Overtones of danger lurk within the dark depths of the pool,  what lurks down there,  would I venture into that are questions raised by simple changes.



So now one can see by even simple changes the message and intent of the photograph has changed.  That is in my opinion what makes it art.  As I said whether one likes it of course is dependent upon ones tastes.