The difference between photography and most other art forms |
Ming Thein

I’ve struggled a bit for a title to today’s essay. Through the course of my investigation into other forms of art – perhaps investigation is a bit too strong a word; meandering or exploration is probably closer – I’ve noticed that photography stands apart for two reasons: perception, and origin. They’re really one and the same if you dig a bit deeper, and this also applies to a lesser extent to its derivatives – film/ video, mixed media etc. I suspect I may open a can of worms with this piece, but I’m also hoping it’s going to provoke some interesting discussion below the line in the manner of some of the classic posts of old. Let’s start with the simpler of the two: origin. Photography is what I think of as a secondary medium. For the most part, the output is a recreation or representation of something, where the something – the originating object, subject or scene – is clearly defined and recognisable in its original form. There is no attempt to suggest that a photograph is anything other than a facsimile of the scene, with adjustments for the bias of the observer – the photographer……..