My big concern is how we seem to be breaking photography out as a separate art
form. This was necessary 30 years ago when it was still not well accepted as a
valid art, but now it really bothers me to see juried shows, or even the NEA
(that's the Endowment, not the Education Association<g>) grants categories list
Visual Arts and then Photography. Photography is a visual art, and just like
any other art, to learn about it properly you need to take a variety of studio
classes and a good portion of Art History, even if they do tend to ignore
photography in the texts, because they don't call it Rembrandt Lighting for
nothing, and if you want to use it you oughta know where it came from.
Here's a good reason you need to do these things no matter what the medium. Are
you familiar with a Photoshop term called Unsharp Masking? It actually makes an
image appear sharper by causing a small halo around each edge pixel in the
image. What I did not know until last week, is that this is based on an actual
painting technique of edging the important subject matter with contrasting
paint, very subtly but noticeable. This technique can be seen in work by El
Greco, for one. And this technique comes forward hundreds of years to find
it's way into photo editing software.
You can never have enough art education.
Old and New Media