Thursday, May 15, 2008

On Flickr, Photography and Art

I'm not an artist.  I can't draw.  I can't sing or dance and I don't even write much anymore.  But I do take pictures.  I have always hesitated when asked if I am a photographers.  I don't see my self as a photographer, because I generally see photographers as artists who do more than just take pictures.  While I have some training as a photo journalist, I also avoid that title too.

So I don't really know what I am.  Maybe a lifejournalist.  Most of my photos are of places I have traveled to or of my family.  I take my camera with me most places.  It's telling though that the 'Most Interesting' of my photos on Flickr are mostly of scantily-clad women at the Phillies game.  I don't work with my images much.  My photojournalism training tells me that's somehow unethical, but the perfectionist in me wants to clean some things up.  There's a tension there and my brother tells me that I have to get over what I was told in the past and make the images do what I want them to do.  I just wonder about how that affects the experience of the person viewing them.

Now I stumbled on a New York Times Magazine article that posits that the overly-processed images that are so wildly popular on Flickr are them selves a new art form, and that gives me yet another thing to wonder about.  Is it art because the person making it says it is?  Or is my work NOT ART just because i say it isn't?  I say I wish I knew.

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