I found the following quote from Art Wolfe very interesting…
BetterPhoto.com’s Jim Miotke had a fascinating discussion with the world-renowned photographer and host of the TV series Travels to the Edge with Art Wolfe.
Art Wolfe is known for combining journalistic and artistic styles into an eye-catching style, and for his passionate wildlife advocacy. “His unique approach to nature photography,” it’s been said, “is based on his training in the arts and his love of the environment”. He has published numerous books and has received many awards over a career spanning more than 25 years.
Jim Miotke: Do you find that people are surprised to learn that you’ve set up a shot? For example, that there is something wrong with it – that it’s not as valuable because you didn’t just happen upon an incredible event?
Art Wolfe: Yes, I get really tired of people who use words like “cheating” or “manipulate” or whatever. They use these negative terms to describe what should be a free art form. Now if you’re a photojournalist and you’re creating a false reality, I can see and they do hold themselves up because if you’re a journalist, you have to be pretty true to what it is.
For myself, I’m taking the elements that are there and I’m just giving it a little more stylized look … otherwise, I’m just photographing something that people have already shot.
And I want always to have a slightly different look. That’s how I make a reputation. That’s how I move myself forward and push the art form forward.
I don’t think I could have summed this thought up any better than Art Wolfe just did. Once in awhile, I will have people say digital photography isn’t really art. Or that I must have an amazing camera (Imagine that! The camera can take the images all by itself!) At a recent show, someone asked me what “credentials” I had to even call myself a photographer! He specifically wanted to know what college I got my degree in photography in.
Does creating art and images from the heart require “credentials” to be valid?