I took this photo of the TN State Capitol Building in 2007. I was never quite satisfied with the image because the sky was so washed out. I was very curious to see how I could manipulate the image to create a more interesting composition. This is what I came up with:
While I was in college from 1999 – 2002, I took three photography classes, all taught by the same person. My professor seemed to disregard any type of photo manipulation in Photoshop, not to mention she was against using digital cameras. In fact, we weren’t allowed to use them at all in her classes because we had to prove that we could develop the film and print pictures the old-fashioned way. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to learn the traditional methods; but I felt that she was biased against a medium that was quickly becoming the mainstream.
Now, this got me thinking. There are numerous methods for creating art, digital photography being just one of the most recent. I’ve seen some exceptional work on the internet of photo manipulations that would put my simple “sky change” to shame. I am wondering how accepted these new methods have become in the art world. Obviously, these techniques are widely used. Some were around prior to the digital era. Technological advances have simply made the process far easier, faster, and more economical.
My personal opinion is that art has no real definition. Art can be anything. Art is the act of creating something meaningful, either to the artist or to the audience. I think the method by which the artist creates is far less important than the finished product. Like most forms of expression, art is meant to communicate a message. Whether the artist chooses to shock and awe, inform, or tell a story, there’s no right or wrong answer. What do you think?