Understanding Fine Art Photography
If you know a great deal about portrait photography, what about its fine art form?
But first, what is fine art? The Oxford dictionary defines it as a creative art, especially visual creative art, that is appreciated mainly for its intellectual, imaginative, or aesthetic importance, and which calls for extraordinary skill or accomplishment.
One thing about defining fine art is that it often gets confused with commercial photography. Fine art is created for the purpose of existing, whether or not it is commercially valuable.
Fine art photography has become incredibly popular in the last few years, thanks to its evocative, mind-blowing 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 comes down to creative vision.
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.
Fine art photography, on the other hand, is more about the artist than the subject. It’s not just about capturing what is in front of the lens; it is capturing what the artist sees.
In other words, in fine art photography, the camera is no more than a tool that an artist manipulates to create his art work. The artist makes his art to convey his vision and records that vision rather than the subject itself.
For instance, if you have seen those famous Georgia O’ Keeffe desert paintings, they are actually a picture of the New Mexico landscape as she saw it from her eyes. If you had a newspaper photographer capturing that exact same scene at that exact moment, you would not find that artistic quality that would have categorized the images 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.
In fine art photography, the picture goes beyond the literal image of the subject. It overflows with emotional energy that oozes from the fine art photographer. It is not a product of the lens but of the person who holds it.