Can We Compare Photography and Painting to Determine Which Art Has Higher Artistic Value?

Painters and photographers are artists who express themselves differently and sometimes tend to compare between themselves to see which group has higher value in terms of artistic expression. Painters would hone their painting skill to draw and color different types of sceneries and need to take into consideration the lighting, shadow effects, etc. As such,…

Painters and photographers are artists who express themselves differently and sometimes tend to compare between themselves to see which group has higher value in terms of artistic expression. Painters would hone their painting skill to draw and color different types of sceneries and need to take into consideration the lighting, shadow effects, etc. As such, it can take several years of practice before the painter is equipped to fully express himself. In the past, painting was not just for artistic expression but also served as a form of recording. Paintings were often included in books to help the reader visualize the academic content. Photography, compared to painting is a rather modern form of recording and artistic expression. The skilled photographer is able to capture the right image at the right moment to express an idea. With the present IT technology, there are many types of software available that can help the photographer to manipulate the photograph to enhance the flavor of the image. However, as many of you would have guessed by now, photography depends on the real external objects to provide the photographer with something to work with. He can not produce a captured image without any real external objects such as people, items or places. Painting and photography are both admirable artistic endeavors with their distinct advantages and disadvantages therefore can not be compared to determine which produces more artistic value.

Painters often are of the perception that photography is an easy art but it is not. What is so difficult about snapping with a camera to capture an image? Technology has indeed helped to make our lives easier and this includes making it easier to capture and record images. If you are just looking at taking simple photographs, a simple digital camera can help you do the job. However, if you are an expert photographer who wants to express certain ideas through your work, it then becomes important to pay attention to more details during photography. Professional photographers need to invest in advance camera technology and photo-editing software to capture and process the image, in order to achieve the desired photographic effect. The entire photography process can be very complicated; therefore the photographer needs to be equipped with the right skills and also invests the right amount of time to pull it off.

Photographers seek to offer viewers a perspective of the world through another person's lenses. In order to offer different perspectives or maybe share experiences, photographers often explore different places. For example, western photographers would often travel to eastern part of the world to find new places or people as their photography subject matters. Likewise for the photographers from the eastern part of the world, they would travel to the western part of the globe to seek new experiences. Other times, photographers are simply motivated to help others understand certain foreign culture; therefore they may travel to these locations, mingle with the locals, understand their way of life and use photography to as a mean to educate.

Painting is a skill which requires many months or maybe even years of practice in order to master a robust set of painting techniques, so that the painter can express himself fully. There are many different types of painters; some who specialize in painting people up-close, others in painting crowds, buildings, nature and the list goes on. Specializations in one painting topic can take a painter several years to achieve mastery. Painters who learn on their own may refer to internet sources, personal experiences, etc. Painters who learn from schools and teachers will be trained in painting techniques. One example would be to capture the effect of sunlight on a piece of grassland. In this case, the teacher may teach the apprentice to mix and match the right colors and even to the extent of adopting a certain paint stroke to achieve the desired result. Painting is a tough skill to master. Even a talented painter needs to invest heftily to improve himself, otherwise he may not be able to express himself properly through his works.

A painter has the ability to create a painting anytime and anywhere, with or without a subject matter on hand. A well-trained painter is capable to paint a subject matter at a certain time, but that might not be the only motivation of a painter. He is also free to inject his feelings and experiences into the painting or even simply produce something out of nothing. Take for example the famous painting, Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli . There is no way that Sandro Botticelli witnessed the birth of Venus but he was impressed to portray Venus in his paintings. Many painting-enthusiasts, when admiring a painting often research the painter's life and often try to link the two elements together. That is the beauty of painting. It is not just about the paintings. It is about the story between the painter and his paintings. Painting enthusiasts would also enjoy learning about Why, Who, What, Where and How of a painting.

Painting and photography can not be compared vis-à-vis. Both require different skill-sets and many times their motivation differs too. Photography requires real subject matters such as people, items and places to work with. As for painting, painters can choose to work with or without real people, items or places. It is not reasonable to compare between the two arts to determine which art has greater artistic value. Keep an open mind and enjoy whatever both arts have to offer.