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Defining Fine Art Photography

If you’re familiar with portrait photography, how about portrait photography as a fine art?

But before anything else, what is fine art exactly? 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 problem with defining fine art is that it is often mistaken for commercial photography. The purpose of fine art is exclusively to exist, whether or not it holds commercial value.

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.

In contrast, fine art photography is the artist’s than the subject’s show. 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 art as an expression of his vision and documents that vision instead of the subject itself.

For instance, if you have seen any of those famous desert paintings by Georgia O’ Keeffe, you can see that they are an expression of her experience of the New Mexico landscape. If the exact same scene at the that exact time was captured by a photographer working for a news publication, the artistic element that would otherwise categorize the resulting images as fine art photography, would not be there. 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 work of art was created by the photographer deliberately, from deciding to capture his subject to post-processing the image, and all that came 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.

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