September 28, 2010

Pierce Point Dairy at Point Reyes

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Is it art?

I'm currently having a great debate with a friend of mine about whether or not photography is art.

He says it can be, depending on whether or not the photographer put any forethought into it beforehand, or any creative interpretation into it during post-processing.

I say that there is no need for photography to emulate art -- it can stand on it's own.   It just seems way too simple and way too easy to simply hold a machine up to the eye, turn some knobs and click, push more buttons in Photoshop; then with any luck -- if the image holds up as visually interesting -- call the finished result "art".   An "applied" art, perhaps, but certainly not a "fine" art in my opinion.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Constructed in the 1860s by Solomon Pierce, Pierce Point Dairy became the most successful "butter rancho" in the Point Reyes area.   Beginning in the 1880s the ranch was leased to a series of tenants.   In the mid-1930s it was sold to the McClure family which operated it as a Grade B dairy until about 1945, when dairy ranching ceased after 90 years.

The complex includes the 1869 and earlier sections of the two-story main house, the tank house, school, woodshed, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, dairy, horse barn, slaughter house, hay barn, hog sheds and pens and woodshed.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Using the term loosely, I think this old building has a rather "artistic" shape.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

That's the old creamery -- I was trying to be a bit "arty" by turning the color shot into a black-and-white.

And those fine cows are on another Point Reyes dairy ranch, one of a handful that are still in operation on the Point Reyes peninsula.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Ask this bull about "art" and you'll probably just get a blank stare -- he probably has other things on his mind.

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Jo's-D-Eyes said...

I believe that photography can be ART!

Or in other words, let me explain what I mean: the way you Don, are focussing. or zooming out or in etc, thats how ART is made.

Whether you use a camera or not, its the artist behind the camera, what's changing photography into ART.

I studied photography and had a degree in ART-photography, if I deserve that "title"? The answer is to judge by the public (read bloggers) or you,you, or anyone else,

I think that YOU Don are an artist in photography, so YES Art pohotography exsists.

I agree :)

AphotoAday said...

HI JO-ANN -- well expressed... Good points, and thanks for the compliment. Maybe I should replace my red baseball cap with a beret.

John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Really like the banner sunset photo (it is a sunset, no?). Then catching the bull in action, well done. I'll stay away from the photography as art issue. Thanks as always for the history lesson.

Rhett Redelings said...

I believe photography can be art but isn't necessarily art any more than dried paint on a surface is, by definition, art.

As a photographer, I consider myself an artist but sometimes I'm just a craftsman, documenting an event with my skills and tools.

Both have value (to me anyway) but just because both approaches are possible, it doesn't follow that neither is true.

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