Posted in 02 Pictorialism, Coursework

Exercise 1.4: What is a photographer?

Marius De Zayas was an essayist, intellectual and curator of modern art and was closely allied to the 291 gallery. His essay ‘Photography and Photography and Artistic Photography’ makes a distinction between the ‘artist photographer’ and ‘photographers’. Read the essay closely, summarising De Zayas’ key points. In your learning log, write down your responses to his point of view and consider whether these questions are still relevant today. As a practitioner yourself, where do you stand on the issue.

The article can be found here

I found myself throughly enjoying Zaya’s article, it was structured into memorable points and he wrote with a vigour and informed response that made myself really connect with the article. It was interesting and I felt written in quite a modern way compared to the article by Rosalind Krauss. The first link wouldn’t work so I worked from the second.

Photography is not an art – photographs can be made to be an art-

The article was discussing the differences between the two categories of photographer, the  ‘photographer’ and the ‘artistic photographer’ It was clear he was more drawn to the artistic photographer and the relationship of emotion between the photographer and the subject.

Below I have laid out my main points in a MindMap which I created on my iPad with the drawing app ProCreate.


I do feel his comments are relevant today though I feel we are both guilty of being both, a photographer can be an artistic photographer and an artistic photographer can be a photographer. I feel that while the two can be categorised separately we each work with both in the field. The photographer uses planning and investigation which are skills the artist photographer needs. Just as a photographer must employ a degree of creativity to venture out and capture something in the first place.