Defining Fine Art Photography
If you’re familiar with portrait photography, how about portrait photography as a fine art?
But first, what is fine art? If we base our definition on the Oxford dictionary, it is a creative art, especially visual, whose value lies in its intellectual, aesthetic and imaginative quality, and which requires great accomplishment or skill.
One thing about defining fine art is that it often gets confused with commercial photography. Fine art is actually made solely to exist, regardless of its commercial value, if any.
Fine art photography has become immensely popular in recent years, what with its intensely evocative and stunning appeal.
Fine art photographers are actually artists. To create fine art images with the use of digital technology, a special level of skill and perception is necessary. It takes an equally knowledgeable and skilled photographer to do this too. It’s all about creative insight.
The main idea behind fine art photography compared to other fields of photography is that it is beyond digitally recording a subject. When you use a camera to capture an image as it existed at a particular time in a particular place, that is photo-journalism, which you often find in publications.
On the other hand, fine art photography highlights the artist more than the subject itself. It’s not just about capturing what is in front of the lens; it is capturing what the artist sees.
In fine art photography, therefore, the camera is merely a tool that the artist uses to create his art. The artist makes his art to convey his vision and records that vision rather than the subject itself.
If you’re familiar with Georgia O’ Keeffe’s famous desert paintings, for example, you will images of the New Mexico landscape from her experience of it. If a newspaper photographer took photos of that same scene at the same specific moment, the results would not have the artistic element that would otherwise classify them under fine art photography. In short, a fine art photograph is one that contains all elements of control used by fine art photographers when they produce their art.
That piece of art was originally and deliberately created by the photographer, from the time he decided to take a snapshot of the subject all the way to its post-processing and everything in between.
A fine art photograph ventures beyond a subject’s literal interpretation. It is full of emotional energy flowing from the fine art photographer. It is a masterpiece not of the camera but of the person behind it.