From an artist’s perspective, what are the advantages of using a (digital) camera?

  1. A camera records a lot of information.
  2. They are (relatively) easy to use.
  3. The camera “sees ”more than the human eye.
  4. They save artists a lot of time and are a great asset.
  5. Cameras vary in size and application and are easily transported.
  6. You can control your camera or you can employ its auto settings.
  7. Digital cameras allow you to choose the right image almost instantly.
  8. You can record images in all weather conditions, deliberately or accidentally.
  9. You can print your own images in a variety of sizes.
  10. Software such as Photoshop enables you to “play” with your images.
  11. The digital camera has seen digital art arrive as a viable form of artistic expression.
  12. Cameras are fun to use!

What are the disadvantages?

  1. When photographing, it’s easy to take far too many photos that can be distracting especially when having to decide what it is you wish to paint.
  2. Cameras have made us too reliant on them to do a lot of our research and thinking for us.
  3. Cameras have made artists lazy.
  4. Artists have lost a good deal of their drawing skills.
  5. Working “live”, plein air is becoming a lost art.
  6. Cameras can only see two-dimensionally which has seen the demise of the understanding and appreciation of three-dimensional drawing and painting.
  7. Cameras cannot record the character of a subject unless in the hands of an expert photographer.
  8. Photos are often traced, which to me is imitation. Is imitation really art, or craft?
  9. The over-reliance on cameras has resulted in a lesser understanding and appreciation of the use of light and shadow in artwork.

I’m sure some artists never use a camera, while others do so whenever they can. It’s all about who you are, how you work and what you are trying to say.

Today’s images are from a series of photos I took at Beer Barrel Beach, on Tasmania’s Northeast coast earlier in the year. I have used some of these images in my coloured pencil work. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to stand on the beach and record the waves as they smashed into and over the rocks!

More tomorrow.



About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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5 Responses to THE CAMERA: ALLY OR MILLSTONE? Part 2.

  1. The camera is definitely an ally. I couldn’t work without mine! Love the photographs..the sea crashing against the rocks could easily be here.
    While I’ve got your attention Richard, apologies for not putting a subscribe to my blog in situ, but I can’t seem to work it out on WordPress. Sorry….Thnks for asking I will try to get it organised. All the best

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks April for your comments. On your WordPress site go to APPEARANCE down the left hand side, then WIDGETS where you can add a SUBSCRIPTION tag.
      Regards, Richard

  2. Well-written. Thanks. I have been learning a lot about content management lately. I have also been experimenting with setting up an e-commerce site using WordPress. Have you ever done that? Any suggestions for me? It’s pretty fun learning it. Visit my blog if you’d like to read more. Thanks again for this blog – it is really well-done.

  3. Dan Boren says:

    I really enjoy the quality information you offer to your visitors� Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post!

  4. Phil Hare says:

    I really like this blog. Please continue the great work. Regards!!!

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