Is photography design?

I love to take photos and one reason is that I like to make good compositions. Composition, to me, is like designing, designing the feel to an image. It’s like still-life, even graphics design, but you play with existing elements.

Is anyone with me?

I agree with you. The more design I make, the more I feel like I select things than create and that’s what photography is. I really enjoyed my high school photography class…and I’ve always promised myself to build a dark room.

I wish you had made this topic a poll…I’m curious what the proportion is of designers who enjoy photography.

I was more curious to hear opinions. Usually a poll will just end up with votes but not voices.

yeah I love taking photos, I like the instant feedback I can get from digital, it helps you learn from your mistakes a lot more quickly. I have hundreds of landscape and architectural shots on my computer as well as a few random experiments. I got a couple of colour/contrast-manipulated architectural shots in the student section of design magazine about a year ago, was never sure whether they judged it as good work or just needed some content - since this was the second time they accept my work and the first stuff was not all that fantastic or certainly not my best, and, well, I get the impression they were struggling a bit at the time.

Photography has to be the number one thing that distracts me from design work, and vice versa. I spend a lot of time thinking about composition, colours, the angle needed to get the right ‘form’ and geometry from the objects in the photo. Also a great skill to make your products look good! I definitly ‘design’ my photos, also am always on the look out for inspiration wherever I go the same way I am for industrial design inspiration. I think somehow I enjoy the more instant feedback, where my ability to get things on paper by sketching can mean that the flash of inspiration or vision has gone before it gets to the page, I can keep getting feedback from my digital camera until I get it right, then I have a record of all my steps along the way. Or something.

My current avatar pic is a photo I took, judge for yourself if it’s any good, but I like it. :slight_smile:

I am a beliver too. design is photography without the camera.

I mean, photos win design contests. For the ID mag and IDSA annual smoochathons you gotta have ass-slapping photos to really sell the product, because even if it’s an iPod shaped cure for cancer, it won’t win unless it looks good in the photo or slide.

I usually do not chime in on these things and therefore this feels a bit strange. But photography is NOT like design. Because to design is not simply to compose. Naturally, there are elements of composition in design but good design is far more complex than photography. (this is not intended as a value judgement) The range of considerations in design is greater than the range of considerations in photography. Conversely, designers should not pretend to understand photography. Designers have in the last 4 years, with the help of digital imaging, altered photography to be flat in its tonal range and void of its depth of field. Typically, designers do not understand light or lighting. The language of light is what drives photography and gives it formal nuance. It is true that designers work with photography and now use much of there own digital images, but to communicate effectively without the use of verbal language is as much of challenge as learning how to combine type and image.

So let there be light! They are different. And to photograph is not to design.

It depends on the type of photography. Many designers like my self deal with light every day designing environments that are functional but not flat, lighting plays a great roll in giving the environments the punch they need to draw people into the environment as well as provide clear visibility to items and text on display. I find myself taking shots of good and bad lighting to gain more experience in what works and what doesn’t. Back to the main topic is photography design? that depends. One way it aids designers in collecting visual information. Another way it is also design if your in the studio. Shooting product photos takes similar skills as design you are given a challenge (I.e. making this product POP it could be easy like a Ipod or hard like a rubber hose ) you have to execute it the best you can with what you have using lighting, surfaces, even props. Doing studio photography is design you are creating a feeling with the photo. I am by no means saying a guy with a ID degree can get a job in photography but I believe we have a good understanding of how to take great pictures and art direct. I feel a great designer thinks about design in every thing they do. Are we designers better photographer then a Accountants? most likely. better then a photographer proly not.

Definitelly, both are 2 aspects of what we generally call ART. On the other hand, a photograph is something composed by already existing objects etc.Instead, design is what you create from scratch. You create the objects, you are the composer. I have seen the work of some graphic designer (mostly from the older generation) that used photographs that were the cornerstone of their work.

Regarding the “creating from scratch”… I see it this way. If you don’t realise it, will it even exist? I do think photography is somewhat “creating from scratch”, and this is what makes it artistic. A photographer can go to a place city to make nice city scape shots, or can walk into a trash dumping ground to capture the essence of the forgotten items. It depends on whose eyes see it and whose mind depicts it.

DEsign doesn’t start from nothing too. Well, nothing starts from nothing. There is always a question or problem which leads to the desire to find an answer. I think the limitations in product design will be similar to the existing environmental settings in photography. One will have to either move around or make the best out of it to achieve the goal.