The line between acting as a photographer and acting as an artist is quite distinct. As a photographer I’m using the camera for gathering images I think I can use later - colors, contrast, lighting, objects. Anything I find interesting for any number of reasons. With each capture I’m making a photographer’s decisions about exposure, focal plane, composition, lighting, drama, and so forth. I’m gathering them up and I’m placing them in my basket like harvesting grapes, and from there they will be dumped into my computer, subdivided only by which camera I used to capture them.
And they may sit there for weeks, even months, before my attention comes back to a particular capture, crushing it in my computer to create, hopefully, art. A photograph, after all, takes a few seconds, and during a photo shoot lasting a couple hours I might come home with over 100 captures; some duplicates, of course, but each one something I think I can use later. The same amount of time will result in one work of completed photo art. One. And as some of the more sophisticated projects take six or ten hours to complete, often much less than one. This is not to say I’m acting any less creatively as a photographer than as an artist, quite the contrary. As readers of this blog know, there are some captures I hardly touch with the computer. They are perfect as photographs. Indeed, many completed artworks would not have come out the way they did had I not captured the initial photograph in just the way I did.
However, the separation of these acts also separates their intent. Captures taken right next to each other within a few minutes for which I’d had a similar notion may result in wildly different works created months apart. I may ultimately decide I’m not that interested in the second after all.
For the photographer, time is instantaneous. For the artist, time is relative.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.