Art and Creativity: Exploring the Tiniest of Worlds — What Makes Art... ART?

It was actually my intention to do some work in the yard today, but our Northwest weather has done its usual unpredictable "thing," and now it is suddenly blustery, cold and occasionally raining.

So, I have set off to do a little "gardening" on my huge and growing database of nature photos, instead.

What happens inside the center of a hollyhock blossom

My favorite thing has always been to share that part of imaging we generally do not notice with the naked eye. There are things we pass by every single day and never give a second glance.

What IS "A Photographer?"

In the course of my 17 total years of keeping two brick-and-mortar galleries, I have heard lots of "professionals" claim that "every Tom, Dick and Harry with a camera thinks they are a photographer!"

The follow-up statement is that unless you're actually out there "in the trenches," trying to make a living with your camera, you have no right to call yourself "A Photographer."

No, not some exotic landscape... the center of a pale lilac poppy

I have never presumed to call myself "A Photographer;" I'm merely an eternally curious human being who carries a camera pretty much everywhere he goes. And I'm not talking about the camera in my cellphone, although many phone cameras do a decent job, these days.

What Makes Art... ART?

Whereas I recognize elements of truth in the assertions about ostensible "photographers," I still end up having to pose the underlying question: "What makes art, ART?"

Again, this is a question that has been hotly debated in art circles for generations.

Down inside an apple blossom in our garden

On a personal level, I tend to think in terms of "caught my attention," with the secondary consideration being whether whatever I am looking at was well executed.

Of course, pretty much every person out there has their own interpretation, when it comes to art... regardless of whether we are talking about photography, or something else.

Being Selective and Having Discernment

I find myself pondering the fact that I have some 80,000 images on my hard drive, and there are maybe 100-200 of those I'd consider sharing in public, with the actual "photography" tag, thereby laying claim to the idea that this is something worthwhile.

Not a little forest of strange mushrooms; the pollen covered stamens of a red poppy

So I suppose one of the metrics I'm applying is that more thought and effort went into it than just point, click and share from a smartphone.

I happen to enjoy sharing macro nature shots for the very reason that I am offering people a glimpse into something they most likely wouldn't see, otherwise. And — quite possibly — the reaction might be something like "Wow, I had no idea it looks like that!"

If that happens, I feel like I have suceeded, from that "caught my attention" angle. Whether that actually constitutes art I'm not entirely sure.

But at least I had fun creating it!

Thanks for reading!

All images are our own, unless otherwise attributed

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