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The Rise of the Photographer pt 1: Intro | The Philosophy of Photography

Photography is one of the most popular hobbies and art forms, pushed forward by accessibility and social media allows photography to reach new heights in terms of advancements. As I learn more about photography, I am left questioning if this rush of photography has led to the depreciation of photography as an art-form. What I mean is, what constitutes a great photographer from an average photographer? It is art after-all and art is subjective. Is there a difference between an Instagram photographer and say a photographer that publishes mostly on their website? Why has photography gained so much popularity, and is photography a popularity contest? It can’t be only through accessibility via our smartphones and the advent of Instagram that photography is where it is today. Does photography play a role in our experience of life and have underlining philosophical roots? Whenever I edit my photos, my mind always races to these questions. Photography is difficult, you have to understand and monitor the weather, wind, temperature, light, your positioning, positioning of the subject, what should be in the shot, what shouldn’t be, colours, and many other variables that may be at play, not to mention it’s absurdly expensive. Photography isn’t easy, right?

As a disclaimer I am by no means a professional expert photographer, nor am I a professional anything, simply a Canadian that loves photography. I cannot and will-not determine and diminish other peoples work in my research regarding these questions. I do not have any place to do that, nor the accolades to critique in that manner. I think this is best described as a personal journey to understand why photography is where it is today, and if photography has been devalued, not so much concerned with the quality of content, but because there is so much content. I think of it like printing money, the more money you print technically gives you more money, but that money is also valued less.

In the following parts I want to explore why I personally love photography and see if there is some science behind why it makes me happy, and if that can be applied to the general population. I also want to explore the difference between photo photography (iPhone 8) and DSLR photography (crop sensor as I don’t own a full frame). There are probably plenty of examples online I could just look at but I kind of want to see first hand the difference.

I am hoping that this dive into photography will make me a better photographer, after-all I love this art and want to succeed in it. In the day and age where everyone is a photographer, I’ll leave with a Syllogism; Photography is a form of art, and art is subjective, therefore photography is subjective and there is no good or bad.