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Kelly Chi




Zhang, Michael. "Columnists at The

Guardian Debate Whether or Not
Photography Is Art." PetaPixel
RSS. 11 Dec. 2014. Web. 28 Jan.

Michael Zhang of PetaPixel wrote an article about two columnists

from The Gaurdian that have very strong opinions that differ. The
two people are Sean OHagan, a specialist in the subject of
photography, and Jonathan Jones, an art critic. The topic that stirred
debate was Is photography art? Zhang takes us through a debate
using snips from each persons column. It started from the article
that art critic, Jones, wrote voicing that photos do not deserve to
be next to paintings and that it photography is a technology. Zhang
proceeds to add OHagans rebuttal. OHagan proudly titles his
response, Photography is art and always will be, and he points
out the wrong things that Jones believes and justifies his view.
Finally, a neat finding was from a commenter who called out Jones
for being the author to a piece called, Photography is the art of our
time. So he seems very hypocritical about what he believes in.

I thought this article was a great drive to pursue

photography for my inquiry project. It went against
my thoughts and made me want to share what I
thought to others.

Plumridge, Jo. "Is Photography an Art

Form?" Contrastly RSS. 24 Feb.
2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.

Jo Plumridge of Contrastly wrote about her opinion on

photography. She first, however, addresses the idea of art by asking,
What is art? Plumridge thinks of art as a biased interpretation of
an artists subject, but believes a big part of an artist is to create a
reaction from their viewers. She then addresses the search for
artistic value in photography since in society, today, it seems so
simple and fast to get a captured moment and to share it. Wheres
the meaning and reasoning for those pictures? She identifies it as an
instant medium. But in photographs that werent made just to
share and try to be artsy, has a set of skills behind it. Plumridge
believes that to be art because there are certain aspects that a
photographer accounts for such as lighting or space.

When I read this article and Grahams article I found

that art and photography were thought to have same
elements. In Plumridges article she believes that art
should have some sort of reaction that the artist
wants to see from the viewers, and in some of the
photographers that Graham interviewed they are
looking to provoke some sort of reaction as well.
It led me to think if thats what different people think
about art and photography, and they match, then is it
not art?

Graham, Ed. "Top Photographers Answer,

What Makes a Good
Photograph?." Top
Photographers Answer, What
Makes a Good Photograph? Web.
03 Feb. 2015.

Ed Graham questioned why some photos fail while some succeed?

He went on a mission to ask various photographers what they
thought was the most important element of a good photograph.
Many answered, and he included a photo from the artist as well. A
majority of them said that it should have emotion attached to it,
whether it be emotion in the photo itself, or that it initiated
emotional response. It should also tell a story/message. All can be
achieved through lighting, energy, depth, and other elements that
are a part of a photographers skills. One photographer said that it

Lighting was often found as an element of

significance/skill to manipulate.

I found it annoying that Jonathan Jones said such

things about the world of photography, and caused
such uproar among people including photographers,
but he had once wrote that photography was art. So
what should we believe from him?
I LOVED all of the direct quotes Zhang inserted. It
added a lot of emotion that could be depicted from
just reading.

Clare Absolons response was my favorite.

Kelly Chi
Jones, Jonathan. "The $6.5m Canyon: It's
the Most Expensive Photograph
Ever but It's like a Hackneyed
Poster in a Posh Hotel." The
Guardian. Guardian News and
Limited Media, 10 Dec. 2014.
Web. 09 Feb. 2015. <http%3A

Jones, Jonathan. "Photography Is the Art

of Our Time." The Guardian. 10
Jan. 2013. Web. 09 Feb. 2015.
Millner, Nicholas. Personal interview. 10
Feb. 2015. Email.

forces one to focus on simple things and realize the greatness and
small details of said object, person, land, etc.
In the article from The Guardian, Jonathan Jones harshly criticizes
photography as having no right to be next to works of paintings
and drawings, and much more. He clearly states his belief in the
first sentence. He forwardly states, Photography is not an art. It is
a technology. It is not surprising that in the article, he critiques a
photo to make his point. The photo is named Phantom and was
photographed by landscape photographer, Peter Lik, and it was
sold for $6.5 million making it the most expensive photo ever. It is
a photograph of the Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Jones first
comments that the black and white effect is an arty effect anyone
could do to make anything fancier and nostalgic. Next, he
describes it as beautifully cheap that he took a photo of a grand
phenomenon of nature. This implies that he didnt have anything
to do with that; it already existed. The photographer has added
nothing of any value to what was already there he says.

This was the article that stirred up debate between

Sean OHagan and Jones that Zhang wrote about
from the first source.
Im not exactly sure what to think about Jones as a
source for this project.

A mention from the first source as well, this is Jonathan Jones

article saying that photography is the serious art of our time. He
makes good opening points saying it is the most accessible and
democratic way of making art. In this text, Jones even jokes about
how beneficial it would have been to painters in the past! Jones
talks about what a photo is and how it is not a wholesome record
of the how the world is because we have the ability to alter it.
Jones also says that it took him a while to realize that photographic
art is an art.

The article was published a year before the bashing of

photography in the The $6.5m Canyon: It's the Most
Expensive Photograph Ever but It's like a
Hackneyed Poster in a Posh Hotel" Article.

This was a short interview filled out by Nicholas Millner,

professional photographer and instructor. The first question was to
the point asking if he classified photography as art. Agreeing, he
said that it was an art form where technology and human coexist
and work together not one for the other. A photographer has the
objective to communicate to the view by using different principles.
The second question is what is art to you? He replies that art
has no specific definition By defining it he says is putting
limits to something that has no limits. The third question was
what makes a good photo? Millner says that it should connect to

His idea of camera and human differs from Jones.

They are together instead of separate.

Kelly Chi
a variety of viewers and stimulate them with emotional or aesthetic
appeal. Finally, when asked what he thought of people that dont
believe it is art, he simply shows sympathy by saying I feel sorry
for the people that cant see the artistic value in a variety of media

Russ, Sarah. Personal interview. 11 Feb.

2015. Email.

I interviewed a student at UNC- Charlotte that had no experience

with photography, but worked with other arts; her name is Sarah
Russ. When asked how she would classify photography she says
that photography is an art, but she makes the point of only certain
kinds like fine art. Commercial photography she would have to
disagree with, because if the purpose of a photo is to simply
display an object for a retailers use, then it has fallen out of the
category of art. She then describes the subject as captivating in
the sense that It captures life in the most realistic and unrealistic
sense After asking that, I asked her to tell me what art is to her.
In a short sentence, Russ defines it with complexity yet in the most
simplistic way: it engages the mind both intellectually and
aesthetically. Throughout the interview, Russ gives reasoning of
the different types of photography. When then asked about her
feelings toward others disagreeing with her, she says that in some
cases that it isnt art, but explains that people are admitting to
being ignorant to believe, that photography as a whole is not art.
Russ answered more than what was asked because she
answered a part that wasnt pertaining to her. There were two
works of artone a photo and the other a painting. The
question was to compare and answer if the two were works of
art. She says they are both art, because she is engaged
aesthetically in one and intellectually in the other, and that we
cannot fully analyze without knowledge of the images or

-Russ responses by far had me thinking the most for

some reason. I believe it was her tone where it had a
bit of a kick, but also gave the various kinds of sides
that backed her opinion well.
-I agree when Russ says that when it is massed
produced or the purpose is for a retailers use that is
has lost its meaning in the art world. It should reflect
yourselfwhat you believe, think, etc.not what
others expect.
-I agree with Russ when she says that it captures both
senses of the life. This statement made me think the
most and what stood out to me of the interview.

Kelly Chi
Jones, Jonathan. "Flat, Soulless and
Stupid: Why Photographs Dont
Work in Art Galleries." The
Guardian. 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 09
Mar. 2015. <http%3A%2F
Lopez, Anthony. Personal interview. 17
Mar. 2015. Email.

Dunn, Kelli Peacock. "What Skills Are

Required of a Photographer?"
Chron. Hearst Newspapers. Web.
25 Mar. 2015.

This is the third article that Ive read from Jonathan Jones. In this
article, he speaks about how photographs do not belong in art
galleries because in a gallery it is flat, soullessand a waste of
space Jones talks about how he cannot postulate what people
see in photos being with other arts like paintings. It seems as if a
photo does not have equal or greater quality as paintings because
he claims that it does not have the difficulty, skills, or emotional
appeal as a painting would. Jones downgrades photographs, but
finds photography a miracle of the modern world. The article
gives praise to photography, but compares it so harshly with other
arts and is ranked, according to him.
I conducted an interview via email with UNC-Charlottes very
own Anthony Lopez. Lopez is an illustrator, and the interview
began with the question of how he would classify photography. He
said that he would classify photography as an art. His reason is that
it has formal properties and capacities. By that, he means that it
must be able to impact, which it doesthrough linking, making
arguments, being subjective. Lopez says that a good art
photograph canenrich life. After saying all of that, simply about
photography and photographs, it is no surprise that he defines art
as an expression of the soul and that art is a life of its own.
Even though he believes that, the thought of people disagreeing
with him does not faze him because the topic [photography] is just
as complex to define as art. At times, the opposing team has a
point. Lopez then dumps knowledge about a good photograph
using ideas from a former photographer, John Szarkowski. Lopez
lists five formal qualities of a photo: 1) The thing itself, 2)Detail,
3) Frame, 4)Vantage Point, and 5)Time. Finally, he mentions that a
good photograph should have a well constructed composition,
lighting, shadowing, and demonstrate mastery of technical skill.
In this article by Kelli Dunn, it talks briefly about the skills needed
to be a photographer. Beginning with equipment skills, Dunn says
that knowing your camera is vital to being able to produce quality
photos. This not only applies to the actual technical aspects, but
environmental conditions as well. One must understand lighting
and angles that complement well with the vision. Like the next
step after capturing the photo, editing is up next of what Dunn
discusses. She says that because of digital photography, artistic

-I disagree with this. I dont see how he could say that

it is a waste of space when it affects people in the
same sense a painting can as well as was made with
an immense amount of time.

-The blue highlight found throughout a few of the

sources are highlighted because they relate to how
photography and art can do and should do that makes
it what it is. Each source has said there has to be a
reaction or impact from the viewer.
-John Szarkowski was a photographer that Lopez
recommended to look into as well as his works. It
may be helpful.
-I really liked how Lopez says that art is an
expression of the soul because, to me, our souls
represent life. It comes in different forms and is a way
of living. With a photo we can represent ourselves
through it for the world to see.
-Favorite quotes: enrich life. and art is a life of
its own
-Once again lighting comes up as an important
element (highlighted in yellow).
-Im glad that Dunn created this because its not as
simple as people perceive it to be.

Kelly Chi
opportunities have increased because we can edit much more. The
best way to develop this skill is to practice with photo editing
software and watching tutorials. After editing skills, marketing and
people skills follow. These two seem to go together, you need to
get your name out there and is important for a professional
photographer. Having people skills and being able to connect to a
client or possible clients.