login about faq

Ayn Rand is very clear in defining photography as not being art. With the introduction of digital photo-manipulation and the possibilities of staged and directed photography is this still the objectivistic point of view?

(At this point, I fail to see the differences between for example highly skilled realistic paintings and controlled, staged photographs as we can see them for example created by Gregory Crewdson. Not to mention photographic works which have been heavily digitally manipulated.)

Thanks for your answers!

asked Jan 09 '11 at 10:12

Kaki's gravatar image


edited Jan 09 '11 at 20:05

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

I'm inclined to say that photography can be art. Art, according to Ayn Rand, is the selective recreation of real life to reflect the artist's value judgements. When Ayn Rand stated that photography is not art, I believe she was referring to the everyday sort of snapshot photography. In that case, there is no "selective recreation" involved. However, when a person chooses the subject, lighting, technique, etc. in order to create a very specific photograph (and then removes any accidental elements via digital manipulation), I believe that fits Ayn Rand's description of art.

answered Jan 10 '11 at 03:09

Andrew%20Miner's gravatar image

Andrew Miner ♦

It's an issue of degree. The more that the final product is the result of carefully controlled and chosen elements, the more it is a work of art.

The basic idea is that art as such is created by choices. Art is, effectively, the act of creating something by choices -- many choices.

Photography, even great photography the likes of Ansel Adams's, is less artful than good painting. And sloppy, quick, coarse painting is less artful than the work of Vermeer.

answered Jan 10 '11 at 12:55

John%20Paquette's gravatar image

John Paquette ♦


If the reference is correct, I need to find a copy of Romantic Manifesto.

answered Jan 27 '11 at 00:25

rootie's gravatar image

rootie ♦

In this era of digital media, I think photographs easily become the raw material, the "paint" of certain forms of art. Once you start combining multiple images to create a single concrete whole, to define the final image as "a photograph" is incorrect.

The truth remains that the vast majority of photographs qualify as "here is a picture of a ...".

If anyone knows of any good Q&A sessions with Ayn Rand or other trusted treatise on this topic, references would be good to post here.

(Jan 27 '11 at 00:38) rootie ♦ rootie's gravatar image

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Share This Page:



Asked: Jan 09 '11 at 10:12

Seen: 2,143 times

Last updated: Jan 27 '11 at 00:38