Since the invention of the first camera over 150 years ago there has been one major question at the forefront of artistic debate, whether or not photography is actually a form of art. While those behind the camera would argue that there are a series of artistic techniques used to create meaningful photography, traditionalists in the world of art often disregard photography due its lack of intricate technique.

For the first century of its life the camera was seen by many artists as simply a way to capture events, without being able to represent any deeper meaning than surface-level imagery. These days the world of photography has taken huge leaps forward and photographers have gained a lot more recognition for the artistic merit of their works. But the question still remains, is photography an art form?

Art can be defined as the use of imagination and creativity to produce something that is emotionally powerful or thought provoking. The issue is that this description of art is subject to personal interpretation. Not every person would look at the same painting, sculpture or photograph and feel the same thing, but you can’t deny that photography has the ability to invoke emotions and opinions.

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By Photographer Robert Jackson

The inclusion of technical skill and ability in the definition of art is where a lot of the debate comes from. Many traditional artists say that the intricate techniques used by painters and sculptors require a lot more time and dedication to perfect than photography, which is a fair statement. But that’s not to say photography doesn’t take time to perfect because just as an amateur painter couldn’t produce a piece as technically advanced as a professional, neither could a photographer. This shows that however different and arguably less difficult photography is, it still requires skill and creativity to produce great photographs.

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By Photographer David Baker

Despite the wildly opposing views held throughout the world of art, there’s one thing that most artists would agree on which is the fact that art should be expressive. Art should be an extension of your thoughts and your views on the world, which is something that can be seen in all forms of creativity from drawing to photography. It’s usually the process and technique that causes the most debate, not the end result. It’s important to remember that art is subjective and as much as particular piece may not be to your taste, if it means something to someone, then its art.

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By photographer Mark Edwards