© 2009 admin Art?


I haven’t posted anything in quite some time. But, it’s not for lack of being busy. In a week and a half or so I should have a whole bevy of pictures to put up here; and a cool story to boot. I’ve gotten to do a really neat project over the last couple of weeks.

Anyway, earlier in March photographer Art Wolfe wrote a short essay for Luminous Landscape called “Seeing Like a Painter“. The second paragraph caught my attention:

I always approached photography from the point of view of an artist. Until the age of 22 I thought of myself as a painter, working on watercolors, studying composition and technique at the University of Washington, and internalizing the history of both Western and Eastern traditions. My interest in photography was an outgrowth of my climbing in the Cascades of Washington, a way to record my adventures, but when I committed to photography, I naturally applied my background to the new medium. I was uninterested in being a documentarian.

I find that interesting, mostly because I think I fall more into his “documentarian” category than that of the “artist”; at least at this point in time. Of course I always try to make things as visually stimulating and interesting as I can when shooting but I’ve noticed that I either lack or haven’t yet developed the more abstract ‘eye’ which some of my creative friends have; I tend to shoot in a very straightforward way. I’m ok with that though. It gives me something to play with and to work on. Like a puzzle. An infuriatingly ambiguous puzzle with no right answer, but a puzzle nonetheless.

What do you think?


Post Script: Please note that in 15 days I get my Aggie ring. Whoop.


  1. Posted April 2, 2009 at 7:42 am | #

    I think that puzzles like that suck too. I think that while most think that photography needs to be “artsy”, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way to be artful and creative. There’s a simplistic complexity (I like oxymorons) to the everyday lives of people which so many of us overlook. While people inherently might kind of be idiots, our lives and interactions, I think, are fascinating. I don’t see anything wrong with the documentation of such things, and from what I’ve seen you tend to document such things pretty creatively and artistically even if you don’t see it yourself. All that to say, I think you’re doing quite well.


  2. Andrew Cagle
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 11:17 am | #

    It is interesting because film can fall into the same questioning as photography. As you know, many films are divided into documentary and non-documentary, even though it is not referred to as non-documentary. In many feature films the script and the story, in most award-winning films, are more on the artistic side with brilliant cinematography and music scores. In documentaries, I feel that the job of the film maker is to allow the story to tell itself in the most powerful way possible, whether that be to inspire, make the audience laugh, or move them in an emotional manner. As a film maker, it is my job to make the story unfold, but creativity and artistic expression comes into play just as much in that goal as it does in other fiction work. I myself feel drawn to documentaries because I see it as the chance to convey a message or bring a story or nature’s beauty into a medium that is extremely powerful. I still have a desire to work on other films as well, but everyone has their speciality and facet of an art medium that they excel at and enjoy. Just as there are many, many genres and forms of painting and sculpture. Photo and film has its own divisions. Documentation doesn’t have to be “boring”, in fact it is your job to make the ordinary and extraordinary become even more extraordinary.

    Those are my thoughts from one artist to another.


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