Over the years in modern-day history, there has been a lot of stigma in the art world around landscape photography. When photo cameras were invented and started to be used as an art form, it was always regarded as a technical representation of reality and not necessarily considered as a true form of artistic expression. It's been a heated topic of discussion since the beginning of the last century for many artists and famous photographers.
In the early days of the 20th century, photographers, much to their disappointment, were often excluded from the art shows. Because real artists like painters and sculptors were only recognized as artists. People argued over it. Then some, like a well-known black and white landscape photographer- Ansel Adams have dedicated a full chapter on this topic in his autobiography.
"Is landscape photography an art form?" - happens to be the question that almost every beginner photographer has to wrestle with when they embark on this artistic journey. Somehow most of us have heard that photography isn't really art, that anyone can just grab a camera and take a picture or nowadays just use their iPhone to capture an image of the object in front of them with a touch of a fingertip.
This view of things infuriates some photographers. Because when you actually start doing landscape and fine art photography. You quickly realize the amount of learning, investment in equipment, the amounts of time needed to travel to destinations as well as hours upon hours of time spent working on post-processing of images. Not to mention the experience and knowledge one has to have if they want to produce actual photography prints. Add to that learning the intricacies of how camera equipment is meant to interact with light, figuring out which filters are best used where, and being able to choose proper tools and lenses.
In the end, there is an aesthetic part of the art form of photography. Finding subject landscape locations, setting up angles, and creating pleasant compositions are art skills that can hardly be even taught. It sounds easy when you aren't the one doing it. But I often see many self-proclaimed photographers struggle with this. Even after a few years of doing it. So just like any art form, it is not as easy as it looks and if you are talking about the actual art of producing fine art photography prints, there is literally no way you can do it using your iPhone camera.
It is also true that photography requires equipment that improves with each year, making it easier for anyone to capture great-looking photographs, even using their cell phones. However, looking at the photograph on a phone or a computer screen isn't necessarily the same thing as looking at it hanging as large wall art in your living room. In order to actually produce artwork that will be used as modern wall decor, you need not only better technology than a mobile phone camera, but also a lot of technical and artistic know-how. Without those things, you can not produce quality landscape photography prints. Because of the lack of resolution, dynamic range, and other aspects of technical mumbo jumbo, that professional cameras have. As opposed to a 5-inch cell phone you carry in your pocket.
And when it comes to the actual question of photography being an art form. The answer is very simple too. You can argue that every human expressing themselves is anyway, is an art form in itself. I doubt there is a difference whether you use a pen to write a novel, stroke a paintbrush putting oil over a canvas, move your body to the tune of the song or use your hands to mold clay into pottery or sculpture..."Memories From Home" - buy fine art photography panorama
People use various tools as means to get to the end -a final product. Whether it is a book, a dance routine, a home run at the stadium, a painting, large wall art as a printed photograph, a garment, a beautiful house, or amazing interior design and so on... Virtually any creation that evokes an emotion in others, brings value and joy. Or a creation that simply conveys strong aesthetics and beauty - all, without a doubt, can be defined as an art form. It is really hard to argue it isn't.
Certainly favoring one art form over the other is not going to cut it. On the fast road of progress, we currently live on, our main task as humans is to start recognizing art in every human endeavor. Apart from more commonly accepted art forms like singing, dancing, acting, and painting that have boxed us within the term we call "art" for centuries. We need (and we already have) to start recognizing Kobe Bryant shooting the ball with grace to win a championship, chef Gordon Ramsey preparing a tasty and spectacular looking meal, Martha Stewart decorating the living room, and so on...- as the truest expressions of the human art form. And no matter which craft, we always have to encourage more people to be doing it! Because realizing our fullest potential in any aspect of our lives is an art form and everyone should strive to be doing it!
This is especially true of ART OF LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY. And that is the reason I love it so much!