is this art? more hipstamatic photography

I am still really enjoying the Hipstamatic app.  I haven’t quite worked out which lens/film/flash combinations I like best, but I’m getting a lot of practice!

In my last post on the subject of Hipstamatic photography, ‘anonymous’ posted an interesting comment –

“I’ve just bought Hipstamatic myself – it definitely has some great filters and you get some really nice results from the post processing (aka ‘developing’). But is it art? I’m not really sure. It’s the same as Photoshop really; how much do you have to edit/change a photograph before it turns into something it isn’t? Photography is supposed to be raw, candid and evoke feeling. It’s supposed to be about being at the right place with impeccable timing. If this app can make it so easy for anyone to take a ‘good’ photo then the true passion behind photography is almost lost…”

I think that there will always be a debate between the artistic merits of analogue vs digital; especially when a digital solution (e.g. Hipstamatic) does 90% of the work for you. 

I don’t strongly sit on either side of this fence as I find the debate too interesting to pick a side.  I’m sure that painters, drawers, and sculptors poo-poo’d photography when it was first invented; arguing that was absolutely no art in pointing and shooting a machine to capture a ‘picture’.

Fast-forward 200 years, and we’re now debating the artistic merit of new technologies.  Regardless of the side that you take in this debate, there is no debating one common factor… a person (artist or not) needs to be involved somewhere within the process.  Whether they frame a shot; use technology to get the outcome they want; or program the technology to get the outcome someone else wants, people are always involved. 

The real question then becomes, to what extent are they involved in the artistic process?