Continued: above is a mobile phone snap of the view I had yesterday morning. I took the picture because I liked the view. The phone had no camera settings, so there was no technical input from me, point and shoot, point and shoot. For me the view was a pleasant one, the image is a pleasing one. Where does the art come in? Was there an intention to create Art? Or did I just want to share the view there and then with facebook so that other people would know I was somewhere with a better view than they had?
Above is Warhol's Flowers - well, one of many Flowers pictures created by Warhol (yes, yes and Gerald Malanga and Billy Name), this one from 1967. Or maybe 1970. Alongside is Patricia Caulfield's original photo, found by Warhol, photocopied until the detail was gone and then transformed into something else. Patricia Caulfield was upset that her photo had been used without acknowledgement, without consideration for the photographer behind the photograph. But Caulfield's photo is not the same as Warhol's. Warhol used the photo as inspiration, a starting point for something new, interesting, attractive.
The river photo above relies entirely on the reality of that view. Nothing is added. In part the limitations of the phone/camera softens the image (in the same way that Warhol's multiple photocopyings did) and takes something away. Does the picture stand alone as an artwork?
If I had painstakingly painted a painting of the view then I think most people would consider it an artwork (although not necessarily a good one).
Similarly a pencil sketch or charcoal drawing, even if it didn't look as good as the phone camera photograph, would be art.
And if I'd put it through some photoshop edits so it ended up with tangerine trees and marmalade skies then it might be a piece of art.
Is it enough to just point and shoot? I think so. I think the selection of the image is enough. The first picture below is taken from the same spot exactly 24 hours later (ie, 10:00 am this morning). It is nowhere near such a pleasing image.
The final picture is from the same spot (more or less) a few weeks ago, looking in a slightly different direction. I like the image but it lacks the feel and definition of yesterday's refelctive picture. Remember, yesterday morning's picture contains the spirit of the wagtail.
A bird is natural
in the wild above
and when it sings
we look up
Devon Sproule, Mike O'Neill, You can't help it 2013