The Photographic Medium

"The making of a photograph involves much more than pressing the button on a camera."

Some people still ask “Is photography art?” The answer is, of course, “No”.
Photography is a medium just like water colour or painting. Many say there is no art, only artists. Each artist chooses his or her medium and some choose photography.

Artists who choose to work with classical photography mostly do so because of its unique qualities. It enables them to capture things as they are at an instant or more in time. The exploitation of form and structure with texture and nuances of light given full value allow the communication of ideas, both simple and complex, which would be virtually impossible in other two-dimensional media. In short, they work with photography’s strengths rather than using it to imitate other media.

The making of a photograph involves much more than pressing the button on a camera. The fine photograph is the result of a long chain of lucid decisions from concept through to the final work. These decisions begin with the in-camera exposure of film to the light reflected from the subject. The negative image is revealed through development. Then the positive image is made photographically, that is, by the direct transmission of light through the negative onto one of a wide variety of supports – usually containing metals like silver, platinum and palladium but occasionally pigments. Making a photograph with any of these involves a virtual infinity of options and decisions.

Process and the ‘feel’ of the photograph are as important to us as the images it holds. Visitors to point light may enjoy and discuss these things at length.