1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

To go alongside 'Is Photography 'Art?' - Is photography 'craft'?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Geren, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    A local contact at a gallery I sometimes use has set up two Facebook groups...one for local artists and one for local crafters. She has decreed that photographers must use the craft page. Why do I feel so annoyed about this?!
    EightBitTony likes this.
  2. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I mean, obviously, I don't have to use either but if there's an opportunity to promote exhibited work I should use it. And it's not that I have no respect for 'craft'. There are some amazing crafters there, making things - but I don't see photography as 'craft'. At all.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I'd rather people didn't feel the need to put a tag on me. As you say, though, from a commercial point of view people do need a guide to what you are offering and a tag is more or less that.
  4. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    If you are making your own paper, coating it yourself and darkroom processing, then I wouldn't be offended by 'craft'. But yeah, seems odd to say the least... o_O
  5. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    I probably wouldn't go quite so far, but I would say that if you shoot it, process it, print it and mount it yourself it could qualify as craft. I don't see that it has to be an either/or situation.
  6. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Yes, see, I think I would go along with this. There are photographic processes which I mgiht consider to be craft. But very few people locally are working this way.
  7. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    If it is a craft then what's with all the photography exhibitions I see at the National Galleries of Scotland?

    My initial thought was, "why have two Facebook groups?", there's bound to be some crossover and they're only making more work for themselves.
  8. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Get all the local photographers to call themselves "photoartists" or something even more arty pretentious?

    I tend to agree with AlanW, though.


    ps given the local daubers around here, I think I would prefer to be in with the crafters.
  9. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Isn't this a throwback to a time when artists got very sniffy (and shirty) about photography being classed as art?
    What does this person think about the processes employed in silk-screen printing? Is this classed as craft-work if the design is based on a photographic image transferred directly onto the silk-screen material, but if it does not employ that process in any way, it is then classed as Art?

    Furthermore, when an artist takes photographs which then become part of a piece of 'Art', in this case I am referring to the multiple images employed in the 'Act of Separation and Deed of Demission' by Adamson and Hill which involved transferring 474 original Calotypes (over a period of 23 years) onto a much bigger canvas which was then over-painted with translucent colours, what is this classed as, Art or Craft? Here is a link for those have never encountered this:


    The University of Glasgow classifies this as a painting ....
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  10. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    I think it can be/is both.....Pure documentary photography probably leans more towards being a craft because of the potential lack of creativity and emphasis on strict representation whereas many other forms of photography depend on the creative insights/abilities to stand alone as an image.
    Trannifan and Catriona like this.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Arguably photography is an art and certainly creative photography is an art. I'm a happy snapper who can't visualize so what I do with my camera I'd struggle to call art or craft. Printing is I think a craft more than an art because it is about the accurate realisation of the image, as created, on paper which is a technical process. Maybe if the gallery sells prints this shapes their view but a separate photographic category would avoid the issue.
  12. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I think you can craft things with photographs, but creating a photograph is art.
  13. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Isn't this why it's usually just referred to as 'Arts and Crafts' to avoid exactly this kind of problem?
    RogerMac and Zou like this.
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I would be extreemly offensive but refering to her as an ignorant stupid cow is as far as I can go here without fear of ending up in the fixer.
  15. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    Or alternatively somebody with a different point of view.
  16. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Crikey, I'm not quite that annoyed!
    EightBitTony, Gezza and dream_police like this.
  17. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I would far rather be considered an excellent craftsman than an aspiring artist.
    A fine art photographer is clearly that, but might also be a fine crafts man...

    Most professionals are neither one nor the other. If they are successful, they are primarily businessmen.
    With specific photographic and communication skills. Which probably include artistic appreciation and some craft ability. Most are happy to call themselves owners of photographic businesses.
  18. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Oh dear........This summer saw the return of the city's triennial Photo-days, the theme being 'Borders of photographic art'. Talk about hype - we were promised photographic art as it has never been seen before! With a couple of exceptions, what the jury actually accepted and exhibited was, to my mind, documentary and reportage photography and on top of that nothing I haven't seen before - shades of Martin Parr and so on.
    My personal approach to photo-art is that I have to be actively involved in the taking/creative process. Not simply pressing the shutter release but 'manipulating' the process to achieve the abstract or impressinistic effect I'm after. Holiday snaps are holiday snaps pure and simple.

  19. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Well I guess they are fuming since RPS collected their Visual Art and some other distinctions into what they laughingly call "Fine Art". My rudimentary knowledge of fine art suggests if you can knock out 20 of them it ain't fine art.
  20. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I'm sorry, that's a fundamental misunderstanding, but an understandable one. Only at the basest level is documentary record photography. Beyond that it requires as much creativity as any other and sometimes more. Doc should make an emotional connection with the subject as well as just convey what it is.

Share This Page