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People complain that digital cameras destroyed photography; they lament, film photography is more authentic. Some whine that everyone with a cell phone is a photographer, as though they are aggrieved by that notion. I have watched grown men fight about Nikon versus Canon. There are endless online forum posts, written by highly intelligent PhD folks, arguing Epson is better than HP or vice versa. Name the brand and you can find lovers and haters who will argue their opinion is right and yours is wrong.

Mine is better than yours; this is better than that.

It is no different with art. In the mid-1990s, I belonged to a local artist group in the town where I lived; it was predominantly painters and a few photographers. We would meet monthly; I was active and participated in writing for their newsletter. I also enjoyed learning about other artists’ perspective. Often I would consider a painter’s point of view for my photography. They liked my photographs too, as long as I did not call them “art” because some held the opinion that photographs were not art, they are captures of light, a moment frozen in time. Sadly, their heightened assessment of their own art or style made many of them extremely opinionated, some even envious; quite a few of them could not set aside their opinions to appreciate a fellow artist. Their opinions got in their way.

Arguing, what I do is better than what you do, is necessary for some people even though opinions are subjective. When it comes to art, there is no right or wrong; like an opinion, it is subjective and art is in the eye of the beholder. However, knowing that fact does not deter some artists from bickering or arguing their art is better (or their camera is better, their printer better, their car, blender, etc...). Should we judge them harshly for being so emotional or passionate?

I prefer to devote my energy towards making fine art photographs. My artwork is my opinion.


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