Essay About Photography As An Art


Today, our team of paid essay writers want to talk about photography. In our times, there are endless debates about whether we can consider a photography as an art, or it is only the source of its achievement, all the same as, for example, canvas and paint? You can create real works of art with them, but it is likely possible to “build” the business. After all, photographer in modern world in not only the creative person, but also a kind of businessperson. It cannot be any grand event possible without high-quality photo session. Photography is in demand and brings good income. However, everyone, who loves photography and admires the masterpieces of professionals, himself creates qualitative unique works and does not set for himself the goal to sell his creation. The answer is obvious: photography is an art. We will discern formation of photography and aspects of photography, on which we can consider it as an art in essay about photography.

In order to confidently talk about whether the photography is art, we need to figure out, what photography and art are. Can they co-exist? Alternatively, is this a “whole” being? In order to do this, we should look back and look for answers in the pages of the photography’s history.

Formation Of Photography

The desire to preserve the beauty of the fleeing life has created an amazing form of art – photo. The history of photography - is an exciting history of the origin and the realization of the dreams of fixing and long-term preservation of images, which surround us, and the phenomena of objects. It is one of the brightest and most stormy phases of the development of modern information technology. Only hinsighting on the past of photography, we can estimate the enormous impact, which it has had on the development of modern culture, science and technology. The history of photography, unlike studies in other types of arts with a long tradition, began to develop only in last time, precisely in the postwar years. At this time books, which were dedicated to photographic art, were published in many countries. Of course, research in this area lagged behind the genres of photographic art. That happened because of many aspects:

•        the lack of a large number of museums, archives, collectors;

•        fragility of the negatives and paper prints of the time.

Photographic art as the number of shots and speed of playback were questioned under the doubt. Indeed, it took little time on photo work in contrast to the paintings, which were painted over the years. We will look in chronological order the history of photography in photography essay.

I would like to point out a few facts, without which the photography would not be at all.

Technique allowed getting image. It was important to fix it without the participation of drafter.

It was done for the first time only in the XIX century. The Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce began to cover the metal plates with bituminous varnish. Varnish became insoluble under the influence of light but in different areas in varying degrees, depending on the brightness.  Engraved relief arose on the plate after the treatment of it with a solvent and acid etching.

 The invention of Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre. Image (daguerreotype) was got on a silver plate, treated with iodine vapor. Plate was manifested after exposure for 3-4 hours in mercury vapor and fixed in hot solute of salt or hyposulfite. Daguerreotypes differed with very high quality of images, but it was possible to get only one shot.

The third man, who stood at the origins of photography, was an Englishman, William Henry Talbot. He made shots on paper impregnated with salts of silver. Talbot printed the resulted negative image with the help of contact method and magnification.  Inventor named his own creation as “calotypy” (from the Greek “wonderful imprint”). The main advantage of calotypy is to obtain multiple copies of the same image.

One of the central problems in the identification of any form of art is a problem of his tongue. Analyzing the history of photography’s individual language, we should identify several periods of its development. Initially photographers preferred to shoot nature and environment, for example rivers, forests and various buildings.  This first period began in 1839 and remained as the main little more than a decade. The second period is linked with appearance of new photo technology, which managed to reduce exposure tens of minutes to seconds and expand at the same time opportunities of reflection all wider range of reality’s objects. Photographers seeked to make all environment as an object of shooting. The naturalness and ingenuousness created freshness of perception and fascinated by its simplicity. In the late 19th - early 20th century new method in photography was developed. It got name pictorialism. Artists, which preferred wealth of tones to disharmony and representation, made an attempt of pictorialism’s overcome. Now, we should discuss about the main aspects of photography in this history of photography essay.

Aspects of Photography As Key Factors Of Photographic Art

During the birth of photography the opinion in the aesthetics prevailed, that only man-made product can be considered as art. The image of reality, which was obtained with the help of technical physical and chemical methods, could not even pretend for such status. Although first photographers, which gravitated to the artistry of images, showed considerable compositional ingenuity in image of reality, photography did not fit into the system of social values and priorities for a long time.

In the first years after its appearance, the public opinion and experts attributed photography from different fields of culture to the number of funny things. Photography of that period did not have any documentary or informational content or freedom of lighting solutions ad findings. It had none of the features that theory today considers as defining for photography. Photography has following aspects, which show that it is some kind of art:

•        documentalism;

•        photojournalism;

•        selection of color, art style, figurative language, genre;

•        presence of talented photographer-artist;

•        availability of critics.

Looking at the photography from the artistic side, you need to stay on its documentary nature. Photography includes in itself figurative portrait of the contemporary and momentary press photos (the document) and photo reports. Of course, you cannot demand high art from service information shot. However, you cannot see only video information and photo document in every highly artistic work. Documentary, authenticity and reality are important in photography. We can make such decision thanks to one of photography essays. The cause of photography’s global influence on modern culture is in this root feature. Other values of photography, its features and its importance for culture in general crystallize in comparison of photography and individual arts. Documentalism is the quality, which first penetrated into the art culture with the appearance of photography.

Photojournalism has its roots with documentary, which is common feature of photographic art. However, this property is used differently, depending on the task. In those cases, when it comes to photo chronicle - fair, exhaustive, precise information about event – personality of author’s shot is not seen. It is entirely subordinated to the fact’s fixation and limiting reliability of its display. Another thing is photopublicism. Here, the photographer also has to do some business with facts of reality. However, their supply is fundamentally in author’s vision. They are painted by the personal assessment of the author.

Some aspects of photography as a form of art are manifested in the choice of color, artistic style, genre, visual language. Color is one of the most important components of contemporary photography. The aim of origination was in marking certain shape of objects through common photography. Color makes photo image to look more authentic. The art style is a particular problem in the theory and practice of photography. It is easily to see as the presence and absence of art style in photography. Naturalistic and documentally captured image will show all little things and details, which are included in the space of lens. Nevertheless, it will be unorganized chaos of vision. If you make a shot at the angle of the author’s vision and artistically, you can get a completely different work.

Art of photography requires a photographer-artist. He needs careful selectivity and special personal “vision”, which allows distinguishing worthy of attention from the outside, casual, part-time. Not every captured image becomes a work of art and obviously not every film gives good photocomposition. Just as an artist constantly makes sketches, photographer trains his eye and his photo vision of the world.

Criticism plays an important role in the development of photographical art, including the theoretical and critical thinking of photographers themselves. Criticism and theory under the condition of credibility and competence may stop amateurish disputes, which disturb and distract photographers and spectators. Taking into account the different aspects of photographical art, we can formulate its essence, try to define art of photography. Art of photography is the creation of visual image of documentary value, artistically expressive and reliably imprinted in the frozen image important moment of reality with the help of chemical and technical means. Art of photography is obviously hard work. You can read about this concept of work in essay on hard work.


To sum up in one of essays on photography, I want to say that question about whether photography is art or not, is hard to answer. It is similar to the meaning of humanity’s existence. Some people think that good photography, which is not made by you, is art. However, not every work, which you like, can be considered as art, and not every art must be loved. Good and evil are linked and should equally fill the art.

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