Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Endless Debate!

So this Christmas mum had a friend to stay - Bella Green. Bella is a full-time artist now although for many years she also taught. It was really good to talk to her. Her question to Paul and I was: "How do you convince the public that a photograph taken using film, developed and hand printed in the darkroom on quality paper etc, is worth more than an identical one shot and printed digitally? How can we help Joe Public appreciate photography as art?" And boy, did that get us talking!

In the end I'm not sure there's an answer.   Joe Public doesn't really care if the print comes from Ikea and there are millions of them in households over the world, at the end of the day it's just about whether they like it or not.

Perhaps it's only the collectors, those that understand the craft, skill and artistic input, that will appreciate that photography can, and is, a valuable form of art.

The argument is probably one that will never be settled - digital or film? It is pretty disheartening when you see the prices of everything - how long will the amateur analogue photographer be able to afford the materials etc. It's almost as if we are being pushed out of the skill and into something which anyone can do (or at least that's how it seems). After all, why spend time composing, measuring the light etc to get a shot on film, when if you just keep shooting with your digital camera you're bound to get at least one good shot!!

Despite having taught computerised graphics, I'm pleased to say that Bella was on our side! She has a passion (and a deep understanding) for colour and gets really fed up with artists who think that you'll eventually get the right colour if you just keep piling on the paint!!


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