Expressionism originated in painting and poetry in Germany at the turn of the last century. Its main tenant is to present reality from a subjective perspective. This school of thought obviously translates well into photography too. In technical terms, it means that sharpness, focus, noise, and by other measures of how we typically judge the quality of an image, are often thrown out the door in exchange for an emotive experience, or an otherwise aesthetic experience conveying emotion. This is not to say that photographers can disregard all technical considerations and consider it expressionistic; a simply blurry picture, for instance, may not be considered expressionism just because of the sloppy antics of the photographer. There are two questions I have in this regard - is it art? and then, is it expressionism? To bypass the whole debate over what is or isn't art, let's just say that intention is the key for our definition of art: this image is considered art because it is my intention. And if it's to be considered expressionism, are we experiencing an emotive-aesthetic experience in an artful way?
Back to Top