It would be wrong to say that photography is an art form no more or no less diverse than any other. All those that endeavour to express themselves via the photographic medium have a vast array of opportunities to do so, especially with the myriad of add-ons, plug-ins, filters other manipulations that one can undertake in different photoshop programmes.
At either end of the scale are those that stick rigidly to their ways of doing things. There is the photographer that seems to think that every image should be totally made “in camera”, and more importantly with no help from any of the automatic facilities that even the most basic camera affords. These puritans of the photographic world are few and far between but hold dear to their beliefs and delight in telling everyone, usually with a hint of smugness. Whether their images have any artistic merit is usually of secondary importance to them.
On the other side is the practitioner that uses every opportunity to engage all the paraphernalia that has been bought at great expense, to end up with an image that usually bears little comparison to the scene that was originally in front of the camera when the button was pressed. Let’s call these photographers the Cavaliers.
I stand a little to the right of centre if the Puritans are on the left and the Cavaliers on the right. I’m of the mind to use something if it gets me what I want. Whether it satisfies others is immaterial to me.
In the past I suppose when the available basic equipment forced you down the Puritan route and you accepted the fact that focusing and taking light readings with a meter was the norm you were no more or no less ‘creative’ than today.
I always tell the story of George, who was a club member of no particular distinction other that the fact that he stubbornly resisted any advance in photography. George would insist on prime lenses, only use a Weston meter, always focus manually, mix all his own special developers for film and darkroom development and I’m sure he would have coated his film and paper with his own special brand of emulsion if he could. He used to rant and rave at the monthly judges assessment of his work, which to my eye was usually pretty boring, by saying, “If he only knew how long it took me to make that print and the work that has gone in to it!”. So George had the feeling that the only good picture was one that was hard to make. I always expected to see dear George at the next meeting with a heavily bandaged ear.
So, photography is what you make it, what engages you in its many facets and what pleases you at the end of the day.