Is Photography Art?

I was listening to TWIP Episode 398 the other day.  One of the topics of discussion was whether photography is art. You may have heard recently about a photograph by Peter Lik that sold for $6.5 million. Check out one of the articles about it here.  Who's to say whether photography is art? Was Peter Lik's photo work $6.5 million? It was to the person who purchased it.

On the TWIP podcast mentioned above,  Renee Robyn makes the argument that photography is not art.  It's too accessible and in a lot of cases it's "a cheap form of art"  because there is literally a  "make it awesome button" for a lot of photographers.  She talks about how the software available these days can make a bad photograph average with very little effort. 

I disagree that it's not art. If Trey Ratcliff and I are handed the same camera and lens and are let loose at the same location, I guarantee you that our images would be very different.  Let him process his images and that will set us even further apart. There are many photographers like Trey that take advantage of all the modern technology cameras today have to offer as well as all of the post processing tools.  The work that someone can do with these tools before and after taking the initial image is artistry in my book. It can take hours, if not days to process an image to make it how your mind's eye sees it.  My work is not anywhere near the same level...yet.  I have Lightroom and some other tools but even if I purchase Trey's presets and apply it with that "awesome" button, it's not  going to make my photo look like his.  Do I consider my own photography art? Some of it, yes.  It's my vision and skill with the tools I have that make it so, in my opinion.  Can using someone else's presets make my average photos awesome, most of the time no.

So what do you think? Is photography art? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.