From an artist’s perspective, what are the advantages of using a (digital) camera?
- A camera records a lot of information.
- They are (relatively) easy to use.
- The camera “sees ”more than the human eye.
- They save artists a lot of time and are a great asset.
- Cameras vary in size and application and are easily transported.
- You can control your camera or you can employ its auto settings.
- Digital cameras allow you to choose the right image almost instantly.
- You can record images in all weather conditions, deliberately or accidentally.
- You can print your own images in a variety of sizes.
- Software such as Photoshop enables you to “play” with your images.
- The digital camera has seen digital art arrive as a viable form of artistic expression.
- Cameras are fun to use!
What are the disadvantages?
- 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.
- Cameras have made us too reliant on them to do a lot of our research and thinking for us.
- Cameras have made artists lazy.
- Artists have lost a good deal of their drawing skills.
- Working “live”, plein air is becoming a lost art.
- Cameras can only see two-dimensionally which has seen the demise of the understanding and appreciation of three-dimensional drawing and painting.
- Cameras cannot record the character of a subject unless in the hands of an expert photographer.
- Photos are often traced, which to me is imitation. Is imitation really art, or craft?
- 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!