What Is Fine Art Photography?
If you know about portrait photography, have you experienced it in its fine art form?
But before we proceed, what exactly is fine art? According to the Oxford dictionary, it is creative art, specifically visual art, which is appreciated solely for its aesthetic, intellectual or imaginative value, and which demands a high level of skill or accomplishment.
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 incredibly popular in the last few years, thanks to its evocative, mind-blowing appeal.
Fine art photographers are actually artists. Creating fine art images in the digital realm requires a high level of skill and perception. As well, an equally knowledgeable and skilled photographer can do the same. It comes down to creative vision.
They key point of fine art photography, when compared to other types of photography, is that it’s bigger than just recording a subject digitally. Capturing an image of something as it lays in front of a photographer at a specific time in a specific place, is called photo-journalism, and it is what we usually see in publications.
Fine art photography, on the other hand, is more about the artist than the subject. It’s not about the subject that the lens has captured as a photograph; it’s about seeing that subject from the photographer’s eyes.
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.
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 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. That means a fine art photograph should have elements of control that all fine art photographers use when creating their art piece.
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 photographer goes beyond the literal representation of the subject. It is oozing with the fine art photographer’s emotional energy. It is a masterpiece not of the camera but of the person behind it.