|One of the biggest problems in dealing with understanding Art is the neglect given to the utilitarian side of Aesthetics. Much of this is because the word Art is used in,as mentioned before, two distinct meanings - fine arts, that whose function is contemplative and for its own sake - and aesthetics, which is an "umbrella" understanding of beauty and form, encompassing both the utilitarian of Craft and the contemplative of Arts, with the bridging of DecorativeArts being between.|
Part, also, of this is the notion that there is mystical applique to aesthetics such to consider it as some kind of supernatural embodiment - which, in reality is to say it deals with non-reals [since the supernatural is a figment]... this, of course is false, as the non-material is as much real as the material, and aesthetics deals with certain aspects of the non-material as it pertains to being visualized - it is as such the science of beauty and depends on the ethics as foundation for its practicality in both the fundamental realms, crafts and arts.
When all is said and done, the primary function of photography is that of recording. This is taking of the given, and mechanically imposing that given image on something, usually a sheet of paper for the purpose. Whatever aesthetics are involved in photography is to the extent it seeks to imitate Art, seeks to have its given with acomposing arrangement. With judicious selectivity in what is taken as the given, the end result can show a very pleasing set of placements. Photography, in other words, involves technical skill as its primary, not aesthetic skill. What aesthetics shows up is like with arthitecture, primarily elements of form enhanced thru composition - as applied to a utilitarian object. Unfortunately, in the attempt to imitate Art and claim aesthetics where there is little of it, photography has in general cheapened itself to bloated pretentiousness. It has, in effect, become not even good craft.
As Marnee pointed out, "art... originated from the mind." Properly, the definition of Art should better read as "Art is the selective re-presentation of the artist's metaphysical or fundamental value-judgments", as this is the meaning she was ascribing to re-creation, not at the time apparently realizing that 're-creation' implies a first 'creation' from which one is 're' or 'doing over'... the issue of re-presentation involves visualizing abstract - theming... as Marnee also pointed out, photography works with a given, and the arrangementing of that given, to the extent it can be, is according to compositional forms - the sense of aesthetics - balance, color, geometric shapse, and so forth - and as she further pointed out, "photography is only a reflection of [Art]' - or as I said, it "imitates Art."