Upload & Sell: On
ben egbert wrote:
The point I am trying to make is that we don't need any instructions about what to include unless its for the purpose of pleasing others.
I totally disagree.
But, I would agree that much of what is taught in the realm of photography is not the teachings of "art", but rather some "do this, do that" in lieu of actually teaching the "art" of image making, typically in the vein of what is currently "en vogue".
Imo, if you want to learn about "art" ... study "art", but don't expect to learn much at all about "art" from the plethora of "pitch men" in the photographic industry.
As to the purpose of "pleasing others" ... here again, I totally disagree. Understanding the tenets of "art" are to understand how to proceed to convey your message. Just like when you choose which words to write, or speak ... how to punctuate your delivery and what tone you decide to use ... it is your message that you are aspiring to deliver.
When we make an image ... we are choosing our tenets of "art" the same as we choose our words. Understanding how our message is impacted by tonal values, sharp/blur warm/cool hues, scale, symmetry, rhythm, proportion, emphasis, subordination, balance, unity, variety, line, contour, outline, direction, movement, shape, mass, implied lines, implied shapes, color theory, texture, pattern, space, perspective, time, motion ... is what determines how we choose to utilize them to help us craft our image's visual message, the same as we would craft our verbal message with words and punctuation. Whether you are a painter of oils, watercolors or a photographer ... you are a visual image maker and those tenets are important to understand how you choose to incorporate them.
The study and understanding of such tenets isn't nearly as simple as saying things like use "Rule of Thirds" or "Selective Focus" or other such things we get told how to do things in photography. But, the more you understand the visual imagery creation and how that impacts your viewers ability to receive you message, the more control you'll have in delivering YOUR message.
Those telling us how to "compose" our images is a gross oversimplification of the tenets of visual image making. Composition is the collection of all those tenets that are available to us to use ... not unlike a musical composition is the collection of notes, time, volume, tone, etc. to produce a completed work. Rule of Thirds, etc. ... is much like playing a song on a guitar that only uses three chords. It works fine enough ... but there is so much more that can be put into a composition.
skill acquired by experience, study, or observation <the art of making friends>
our "art" isn't making "art" for the sake of being "art ... our "art" is the skill of making visual images for conveying the message we desire to send to our viewers (whoever that may be). Studying & learning the skillful use of the tenets of making visual images (paintings, photographs, etc.) is "art" (i.e. skill) learning. There is an "art" to cooking, martial "arts", salesmanship, music, conflict resolution, etc. Anything that we do, can be done "artfully" as we increase the skill and deftness at which we apply those skills.
In that regard, teaching "art" is a far different thing than teaching how to take photographs. Learning "art" is something that photographers (far too often) fail to put forth much effort toward. I understand that a person may already know what they like ... but if you are desiring to be able to convey your visual message to others, it is good to know how to use the tenets of visual imagery to craft them as you so choose.