In a documentary titled ‘Secret Knowledge (2002)’, artist David Hockney and physicist Charles M Falco present a strong case for some of history’s greatest artists using the camera as part of their creative process.
Hockney demonstrates how various optical devices were used to project an image unto canvas, helping the artist to correctly render both the shape and perspective of their subject. He argues the camera (in rudimentary form) is not new, but has been around for centuries.
The camera obscura was known to both the Han Dynasty Chinese philosopher Mozi (circa 470 BCE-circa 391 BCE), and the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BCE).
Hockney correctly points out that it is not the camera that is new, but the chemical and electronic means of capturing an image.
Art and photography have been interwoven for a very long time.
Photography is an art in its own right that is just as valid and deserving as any other art form. Though it requires a skill set that is peculiar to the camera, it employs the same human faculties of knowledge, imagination, attention to detail, creative vision etc.
While all of us can use a paintbrush, not everyone can paint a great work of art. Likewise, though anyone can point a camera, not everyone can create a stunning, original photograph.
Good art is and has always been, a product of certain individuals who have the prerequisite skills to create something of the highest standard.
Photography is no different!