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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 00:55 Thread Starter
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Talk Art 1 : Photography vs. Painting

Just curious about a few things so, to start a new year on its right path:

Discussion 2009-1 : Your comments on photography vs. painting:

1. To you, is photography a form of art or just a tool?

2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)

3. Continuing the trend of thought in (2), why do you think photographs express more than paintings? (and why not?)

4. What are some of the things you don't like about photography?

5. And, what are the things you don't like about paintings?

6. Why do you think photography will die the same death as painting? And why not?

7. Have you ever made a sketch or drawing? painting? prints or graphic art? a sculpture?

Let's hear all about it.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 01:10
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1. depends of the photography, but it can be art

2. its not, and well the reason is that everyone can take photo and these days also good photo, cause of the quality of camera. but not everyone can be good in painting.

3. photographs dont express more, on a painting you see the painters style, two artist can picture something in a totally different way. but photo is just a photo, and we are not talking about photoshop here either.

4. i dont like how some just showoff their camera and equipment, i dont see a reason buying the best or a lot of equipment if you just take a picture here and there but aint really in to it. its a different case when you really are in to it, you go to nature and take pictures, then again, its everyones choice and if you have the money, who can stop you.

5. when there is dust on the frame

6. what? neither will die

7. ofcourse
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 02:28
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1. To you, is photography a form of art or just a tool?

Photography to me at times can be a form of art, but alot of the time i jus snap for the sake that i can snap.

2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)
It isnt but it is.
it isnt because photography can limit you to a certain point, where as painting your free to do as you please. more imagination


3. Continuing the trend of thought in (2), why do you think photographs express more than paintings? (and why not?)
something along the lines of answernumber 2

4. What are some of the things you don't like about photography?
limitations.

5. And, what are the things you don't like about paintings?
can be to time consuming, also if im to do a painting, i fear it wont get as much exposure as photos.

6. Why do you think photography will die the same death as painting? And why not?

because people will get sick of the limitations not to mention technology, we'll all soon return to or roots and start painting away

7. Have you ever made a sketch or drawing? painting? prints or graphic art? a sculpture?
all of the above.


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 19:11
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1. To you, is photography a form of art or just a tool?

I see it both ways, first of all, for me its an art, as you can express so many different sentiments with it. You can emphasize and hide, you can give the pic perspective & geometry, you can show movements, etc. I just learn about CHDK, its a lot of technics behind but really interesting things to do with it.

A tool when I work with the pictures in a graphic program, like make an oil-painting lookalike, or a drawing, etc. Theres so many possible...
Also as a source (master?) for a drawing or painting. if I only had more time for!

2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)

I dont think it is, in some aspecs well yes, but in overall I see them as different arts. Experience from each can of course support the other.

3. Continuing the trend of thought in (2), why do you think photographs express more than paintings? (and why not?)

...just lately i visited the gallery old masters in Dresden and the first pics of these Gallery are by Carnaletto. I always liked him for his very detailed paintings. So you can see a detailed back- and foreground. This is hard in photography. Usually you have to decide between foreground and background, but there are methods in fotography and pc programms to get both focussed as well.

4. What are some of the things you don't like about photography?

Costs. LOL I want a DSLR

for analog photography the different brightness and colors of films & papers.

What always bothers me is the gray-scale in digital photography. You take a pic with clouds i.e. but in the end you rarely have contrasts in these. Maybe Im just not too experienced in picture manipulation.

5. And, what are the things you don't like about paintings?

time and patience consuming. I lost my patience somewhere in the last decade.

6. Why do you think photography will die the same death as painting? And why not?

well the analog photograpy is already dying. My dad used to make 6x6 slides and there are only 2 laboratories left in Germany that develope these slides, plus its getting more and more money consuming, films are hard to get, cameras cant get repared etc. The digital photography will die with the next generation of whatever pics will be made with.

7. Have you ever made a sketch or drawing? painting? prints or graphic art? a sculpture?

yes. all of them.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 19:23
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Originally Posted by Bonita View Post
Just curious about a few things so, to start a new year on its right path:

Discussion 2009-1 : Your comments on photography vs. painting:

1. To you, is photography a form of art or just a tool?

2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)

3. Continuing the trend of thought in (2), why do you think photographs express more than paintings? (and why not?)

4. What are some of the things you don't like about photography?

5. And, what are the things you don't like about paintings?

6. Why do you think photography will die the same death as painting? And why not?

7. Have you ever made a sketch or drawing? painting? prints or graphic art? a sculpture?

Let's hear all about it.
I shall side with Baudelaire and be a radical! Photography, this tool of burgouise class! Accidental cinema without montion! Fragment! Accident! Little little way for pampared girls to pretend to show beauty that they can not show while walking. Vague form of journalism. Killer of plastic beauty and beauty is truth, as they say!
Of course, nothing of that can be art, right? Much less die.
I had the intetion to answer each topic in just that paragraph, it but number 7 is tricky. I have done sketch when I went to a comic book school but I am hopeless because I am not dedicated to it.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 22:46
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Accidental cinema without montion! Fragment! Accident!
I disagree. I actually see it as an art to catch a movement in a single photo. It can express more than some movie can. If its a sentiment, an atmosphere, or a movement its a short moment and to catch this is indeed an art. Just go to our photo contest, and have a look at the winner and you see what I mean.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 23:30
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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.

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Last edited by numerodix; January 6th, 2009 at 08:43.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old January 5th, 2009, 23:47
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1. To you, is photography a form of art or just a tool?
I think it is a form of art, as long as you intend to capture a touching moment. On the other hand facebook pictures à la last-nights-party is not an art for me.

2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)
I don't think that one can compare these things. They are different matters for me. I actually think that painting is superior since it requires more skill and talent than photography. It may be cruel to say but everybody can make pictures, since the skills for how to handle a camera is more easy to learn.

3. Continuing the trend of thought in (2), why do you think photographs express more than paintings? (and why not?)
MAybe it's stupid to say: But you can make millions of pictures in the time you paint one painting, thats why. So you have many chances to capture more than the one-shot-painting.

4. What are some of the things you don't like about photography?
Some artists think they are artistic when they capture crazy boring stuff.

5. And, what are the things you don't like about paintings?
Just splashing paint is NOT art.

6. Why do you think photography will die the same death as painting? And why not?
Neither is dead for me.

7. Have you ever made a sketch or drawing? painting? prints or graphic art? a sculpture?
I made sketches, drawings, paintings and prints.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 01:27 Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks for all your replies. I didn't really expect this thread to be noticed. Really I'm tickled. But I'm also nursing a very bad case of influenza right now (caught that from a gentleman friend visiting from Europe over the holidays) so please bear with me and allow me to answer my own questions one at a time. I will also comment on your ideas -- once I'm rid of this, ugh, heavy head.

1. To you, is photography a form of art or just a tool?
To be honest, I began taking pictures because I had to. My first job, at age 10, was to assist my parents who were filmmakers. When they shot on locations for ad or industrial agencies, the little kid was responsible for still shots. The analog cameras in 1986 were not the easiest to use and when the pictures didn't come out, I saw a huge drop in my allowance that week. So you learned your trade quickly. Besides, the models loved me as they didn't see me as another competition and I began to get more candid shots.

I use a digital camera for work now (capturing artwork and details) but I always use my analog camera for everything else. I also enjoy developing and printing the pictures -- a lost art now. So, it has come full circle that photography is both a tool and a form of expression.

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I made sketches, drawings, paintings and prints.
Hanna, what type of prints? My favorite are stone lithographs.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 01:34
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what is your work? it sounds exciting !
and what a cute anecdote of your life!

i don't know the professional term, but i had to sketch my drawings into some plate and then print it it was gfor school
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 04:28
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I disagree. I actually see it as an art to catch a movement in a single photo. It can express more than some movie can. If its a sentiment, an atmosphere, or a movement its a short moment and to catch this is indeed an art. Just go to our photo contest, and have a look at the winner and you see what I mean.
Onwards, there is no such thing as movement, if you capture movement you have just invented something new... That is why Poe says that there is no such thing as good epic poetry, but colection of short poems that put together give the proper meaning of epic.
He also said nevermore, the drunkyard...

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 07:49
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Onwards, there is no such thing as movement, if you capture movement you have just invented something new...
thats actually a moment in movement that says a lot about the motion itself. And its not a new invention to catch a movement, its just changing the exposure time and you can show the movements of i.e. cars in a street. Its specially impressive with lights at night, but also works during the day, like the movement of drops of a fountain, or a waterfall. Just a few examples of a wide field.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 08:49
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2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)
I don't think that one can compare these things. They are different matters for me. I actually think that painting is superior since it requires more skill and talent than photography. It may be cruel to say but everybody can make pictures, since the skills for how to handle a camera is more easy to learn.
Isn't that the same as saying a horse is more difficult to use than a train? I mean sure we tend to label things that are hard to master as "art" as we have no better name for it. But there's no doubt the train is a superior mode of transportation.

So if someone puts in more work and talent into overcoming bad tools, shouldn't he just use better tools if they are available?

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 11:31
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That is more akim to say its more advanced (or less) writing for digital media than for paper books than for old scrolls, etc. More advanced on art does not mean and cannt mean how advanced technologically the technique used is. Human body still able to do wonders. Also, everyone being able to do it, is irrelevant. Almost everyone can whistle.

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thats actually a moment in movement that says a lot about the motion itself. And its not a new invention to catch a movement, its just changing the exposure time and you can show the movements of i.e. cars in a street. Its specially impressive with lights at night, but also works during the day, like the movement of drops of a fountain, or a waterfall. Just a few examples of a wide field.
Jesus, that would be fantasy. Almost photoshoping the water!

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 15:14
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Jesus, that would be fantasy. Almost photoshoping the water!
no fantasy or photoshop needed. Thats reality and was already long before we could think of photoshop and digital photography. Just fix the camera and expose the lense for a while (longer than usual, depending on the light) and you will catch the movement if there is any. Thats nothing new actually.

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 16:34
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That is not fair. Things are not what they seams to be...

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old January 6th, 2009, 21:50 Thread Starter
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what is your work? it sounds exciting !
and what a cute anecdote of your life!
Hehe, thanks. I'm an art historian and museum curator. From time to time, we have to photograph objects (from paintings to antique ornaments) for research, record-keeping and restoration purposes.

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i don't know the professional term, but i had to sketch my drawings into some plate and then print it it was gfor school
That sounds like the process of producing an etching in which a thick zinc plate is coated with chemical ground and designs can be drawn upon using a metal needle or burin. Other printmaking techniques using metal plates are plate lithography (or offset lithography, with thin plate and litho crayons) and engravings.

You can also make monotypes. All you need is a painting done with slow-drying, heavy medium (like tempera, oil, gouache, acrylics) and impress another piece of paper on top. You can probably make an edition of 2-5 [unique] prints.

Hanna, I'd like to see more of your artwork, hope you will post them in the "Your Own Art" thread.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old January 7th, 2009, 01:08 Thread Starter
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What a brilliant idea for a thread
Thanks.

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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.
Just one quick question. If clarity and likeness are the elements you are looking for, why do you prefer artwork created using watercolor (btw watercolors are also categorized as paintings), pencil/crayon/charcoal, which often present an even more subtle, impressionistic feeling than paintings?


Going back to answering my own questions.

2. Why do you think photography is superior to painting? (and why not?)

One can answer this in so many ways. The pragmatist among us will tell you that it is easier to pick up a camera, snap and there you have it. The idealist will argue that when we finally run out of money, we can still render life using our hands (and pencil and paper). But this is what we will say now, in 2009. Try stepping back a few hundred years and before photography was invented, money was the chief element that drove paintings. I often think to myself, what would Goya do if he had had a Canon with 12.2 mp? He was, after all, one of the few "nutters" who played around with lithography when it was first invented.

We can argue the pros and cons of each medium. But there is one thing that nobody can take away -- it is the gift of seeing few people are born with (or trained later in life), and if you have the eye, your expression will surface, whether in photography or in painting.

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old January 7th, 2009, 01:21
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well, a sheet of white paper and a few cranyons are cheaper and more accessible than a camera. Anyone can have it, and draw or paint. Kids do it all the time to tell the truth. Photography is more expensive that is why is the cornerstone of evil burgoise, so can the poem of the muddy streets of paris accuse.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old January 7th, 2009, 03:01
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talking of mud, we can paint with that do...


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