Are Art Photographers Not Real Artists?

Art Photographers Are Artists. Period.

A recent discussion over at Pixels.com had one self-centered (painting or drawing) artist complain that “Contests with art and photography are kind of feeble on the art side.” He goes on to explain it this way:

Hey, Alice, great painting. How long did it take?
“Thanks Mary, I worked ’til the wee hours every night all last week.”
“Wow, that’s a lot of work – you certainly deserve this honorable mention.”
“And here’s our winner, Bill. Kudos for the great picture of the sun setting over the canal. How long did that take?”
Bill replies, “About 1/125th of a second.”

Don’t ya just love that attitude toward photographers?

I get tired of some artists making comparisons like that. Here is my response to that self-centered complainer:

Actually one of my best selling photographs was captured in less than that 1/125th of a second. But that is only one tiny moment of the hours and hours needed to “get it right.” My best selling series (of the Indian River Inlet Bridge) has me being there on several dozen different occasions – in all kinds of weather (well, mostly good weather but in temperatures from below freezing to nearly 100 degrees (F). Oh, yeah, I’ve been “on location” from before sunrise to nearly midnight. And I have made, literally, thousands of exposures – which need sorting, culling and processing/editing down to the select few that exhibit what I saw when I made that short camera click. Yeah, maybe it would be nice to stay home, even if up ’til 2:00 AM, in my air conditioned home.

Indian River Inlet Bridge at Twilight

In summary: I sell photographs of places (landscapes/seascapes) that are photographed a gazillion times every year. But for some reason there are people who spend several hundred dollars on some of my pieces for images of the same “subject” that an iPhone captures for free. Maybe there is a reason. 🙂

PLEASE feel free to add your point of view in a comment below.