Sunday, March 20, 2011

Painting and Photography

I have been thinking lately a lot about the comparison and contrasts between painting and photography.

I found a site that discusses this and I have posted the link. I am interested in hearing what other artists think about the comparison and contrast; whether or not you can compare the two, if the are similar or contrast one another in their creative objectives.

"Photography and painting occupy the same position on the spectrum because there are no salient differences between them in how we experience time and space. There are however interesting differ
ences during the creation phase. A photograph captures a scene all at once and is then developed over a period of time and in the dark. A painting starts out “invisible”, in the light, is developed gradually, but remains visible the entire time. Any effect that is achievable by painting is achievable by photography, and vice versa. For instance, multiple exposure is more easily achieved in photography but the appearance it creates is equally representable by the painter."

"There are many similarities between paintings and photography. First of all, photography and painting are similar in that they can both capture moments in time that are accurate.
Although some consider photography to be the truth in capturing moments, painting is able to do the same whether it be actually on site or from a photograph. They are both able to manipulate their "subjects" as well, which has become more apparent and prominent in modern day photography. Photography and paintings are both able to use the artists imagination in order to capture what they are thinking, both can be abstract, precise, indirect, direct, etc. Some consider the main difference "between a painting and a photograph is that the painting alludes to its content, whereas the photograph summons it, from wherever and whenever..." however, I disagree, because I feel like, especially in modern day, artists have created ways to simulate both photograph and paintin
g with the other (Wells, 29).

This except I have posted I found on another site discussing the similarity between painting and photography. I also found an e-book by Henry Rankin Poore on the subject by, I would like to read, by Henry Rankin Poore.

"Both photography sessions and painting sessions can be grueling work for live models not to mention the difficulty experienced by the artist in the set up processes. The stages that are set by photographers and painters are very specific and intricate, which they must be in order to aid the photographer in capturing the "perfect picture." Though some consider photography to be less so, with the obsession over reality television, we can see first hand that photography shoots might as well be sessions for a painter as they are just as time consuming. Photography and painting can also capture the exact same things whether they be portraits, buildings, family, nature, scenery, etc.

Something else that painting and photography interestingly share is each other. That is, the incorporation of photography in artistic paintings and visa versa. Though most painting can be done digitally now, there are
some studio and artists that still prefer to touch up their photographs the old fashioned way, with paint. But, digital touch up of photographs and paintings is the new way to incorporate both with each other, and there are many programs to aid in modern artists quest to utilize both
mediums. Overall, in my opinion painting and photography share many similarities, but these also help to make them each unique mediums, while at the same time linking them throughout history. Even though modern day sometimes separates and devalues the other medium, they are both incredibly valuable and important to art in past, present and future."


Wells, Liz. Photography: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge 1996.


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