Each week on Facebook, London's Tate Modern poses thought-provoking questions in its weekly "Thursday Tate Debate." Although most of the community who participate in this weekly forum are from Great Britain, occasionally, international respondents contribute to the discussion, from near and far ~ covering many, if not most, European Union countries as well as across the pond in the United States, closer to home. I have participated in a couple of these discussions.
As someone who has visited the Tate Modern, Britain's national gallery of international modern art, several times (it's located on the South Bank of the Thames and is connected to central London and St. Paul's Cathedral via the Millennium Bridge), I appreciate their regular use of new social media as a means of fostering a community sharing an appreciation for art.
This week's debate topic centered on photography, a casual hobby of mine: "Do you think photography is more of an art or a science?"
I posted the following response: "I think today's use modern digital photography raises the bar for art versus science. Certainly, photography is art because of the use of color and emotion. Yet, the editing process (in digital photography) allows for science to be a part of the process. It's a great debate."
Afterward, I started to think about my own photography and the great debate question. As many of you know, I am fond of photographing our home gardens ~ roses, camellias, rhododendrons, fuchsia and calla lilies ~ often, to create greeting cards for family and friends.
Yesterday, I browsed through a variety of photographs I've shot this year ~ and there were many ~ and found a calla lily that in my opinion can be a catalyst in the debate. When shown in its natural colors, I think of this photograph of a calla lily as art. However, when I digitally edit the photograph to eliminate its natural color, changing it to black and white, my focus shifts toward thinking of this photograph as a product of science at work.
|In color: Calla lily, 2010|
|In black and white: Calla lily, 2010|
Photography: Is is an art or a science? I welcome your thoughts and comments.