Is Photography an Easy Art?

I think photography is the most democratic accessible art. If we think of other art eye-motion coordination is very important, being it playing a musical instrument, painting or dancing. Photography is the only art that I can think off where this is not important.

Anyone who observed a photographer may rightfully note that this is not completely true. The way a photographer approaches the subject, walks around it,  moves around trying to setup a tripod, find the best angle is like watching a dancer move. If you’ve been in photography for a while you’ve may noticed that your body got trained to move fluidly and efficiently.

Being the most accessible art it is often confused with being the easiest one. I think that’s what all the companies, many photo magazines, etc are trying to convince you in. You just need to spend a bunch of money on gear, classes and workshops and (voilà!) you have a dream career – traveling around the world and photographing the most interesting places.

Everyone around photography tries to sell you more gear. Let’s look at “Outdoor Photographer”, for example. Enjoying outdoor photography myself I thought that this would be an interesting magazine. What I found though is that it was not about photography – it was about equipment. At some point I decided to get rid of extra pages with advertising, equipment reviews and pages on how to use particular brand of equipment or software. What was left in the end were 2-4 pages per magazine. Even those pages were half covered in advertisement. The conclusion that I’ve arrived to that even with its cheap subscription, the magazine was not worth it. It was not worth my time. (If you know of any magazine about color landscape photography, I’m open for suggestions.)

In the end looks like more and more companies jumping on this “more photography [equipment] for everyone” advertising train. In the end everyone makes money off photography excepts photographers themselves.

My suggestion to those who want to try photography is to start with some cheap camera and a cheap lenses (or maybe camera with built-in lenses). It will serve you good to learn if photography is for you, what you like in photography and what you’ll need. I know quite a few photographers that find out that that first camera is all that they need and do great shots with it.

2 thoughts on “Is Photography an Easy Art?”

  1. Photography is indeed an art form. It takes skill and I believe the really great photographers has an insight most of us do not have.

    Take a small group into a park where all have an equal opportunity to see and photograph. When you see the pictures they have taken there is usually one who seen the picture you wish you had seen. Or knew how to frame it.

    It isn’t the equipment, some with a cheap Holga create art while others with $3000 worth of equipment can not.

    It takes time to develop the skills to be a good photographer. Ones with the skills and that magic insight become the great photographers.

    1. You’ve brought up several good points. You’re right that all people have their own view of the world around. Really great photographers (which I don’t count myself as) have really great view, that is interesting and relates on emotional level not only to the photographer himself/herself but also to other people.

      I like traveling with fellow photographers and each day in the evening share our photographs, our vision of the place with each other. Each time I’m delighted and surprised how many different, interesting and unique photographs each of us made.

      And sure I’m glad you’ve mentioned Holga. I shied away from mentioning those people dedicated to photography beyond megapixels. I feel like we’ve referred to them one too many times. A better example could be photographs made a half a century ago. Are the all bad now because their resolution cannot match resolution of a modern camera?

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