What a brilliant idea for a thread
1. To you, is photography a form of art or just a tool?
I'd rather not, because that begs the question "what is art". I suppose the central question is: what is meant with it? Do you just want to record a particular scene or are you actively going out of your way to capture something special? Well, in the first case photography is art to the extent that a nice sunset is art. Beyond that, you're trying to create something, so that seems safe ground for art.
2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)
It expresses detail. Accurately. Which to me is just the biggest failing of painting, I'm not satisfied that something is suggested or implied, if it's meant to be seen then show it to me. Painting is just so imperfect a medium in every sense: you obviously miss myriad of fine details, but even the canvas is bumpy and unimpressive when you approach it. I've scarcely ever "felt" anything from a painting, and when I have it's been the atypical kind where the artist worked in as many details as were in the actual scene. Always the kind of painting all others would dismiss without a second glance. To me they came closest to an actual portrayal, to a picture.
3. Continuing the trend of thought in (2), why do you think photographs express more than paintings? (and why not?)
I don't know if they "express" more, but they certainly show more. A painting, in general terms, is like an essay or thesis that goes a little over here and a little over there, but on the whole it doesn't really say anything. I fail to see how the parts make any kind of statement.
4. What are some of the things you don't like about photography?
Light is a crippling problem. So many pictures are taken in vain, either in excessive light or inadequate light. I know that's a technical problem, but it so dominates the trade. Cameras can't really be made smaller (even the smallest DSLR is still bulky) than they currently are cause we need all the photons we can get. Another issue that plagues us is the way our visual perception is biased for peak performance, which means we'll always be fighting with cameras and lighting to attempt the closest possible approximation between the seen and the photographed. This can be made into a positive thing (HDR and what have you), but most of the time it will still be a backlash.
5. And, what are the things you don't like about paintings?
They're not sufficient quality as pictures to actually display what they set out to display. I prefer water colors to oil painting, and pencil/crayon/charcoal even to that. I get that oil colors are enduring, but they're sort of the lowest common denominator in terms of medium as I see it.
6. Why do you think photography will die the same death as painting? And why not?
I don't see what would cause it to die, unless we find a more precise medium to replace it.
If painting is dieing then I can only imagine that it's because we have new media now.
7. Have you ever made a sketch or drawing? painting? prints or graphic art? a sculpture?
Drawings? A few, but I wasn't very good at it and I didn't have the patience. Ditto with paintings. This was all in the context of school.
I've done a bit of digital art, although not recently. It was mostly in the realm of footie wallpapers, some of which came out well to my standards. If anything, that's where I see visual art for myself. Photography and computer created digital art.