Photography as Fine Art

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Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Photography as fine art,even today,is not a clearly delineated photographic genre. Most discussions,experts and forums seem to agree that it falls in the middle of photojournalism and commercial photography.

In photojournalism the images are used to support a news story. In commercial photography the photographs are used to emphasize a product or idea.

Fashion photography sometimes intermingles with fine art but here the emphasis is on showcasing a trend or product, usually clothing, accessories, shoes and anything that a person wears.

Fine art photography is a method by which a photographer carefully arranges the setting and the subjects to make them appear or to closely resemble a fine work of art, usually a painting. However, some fine art photographers use "found" subjects but represent them in the photographs as fine works of art, again usually like a painting, through careful selection of light, angles and perspectives.

Fine art photography, like its counterpart in painting, attempts to deliver a message or set a tone with the images. In other words, fine art photography is a vision of the photographer as it relates to the image, how he or she sees and wants to represent the subject.

Light is very carefully arranged to create the effect that the photographer or "artist' wishes to convey if shooting in the studio or available light is manipulated via filters, and/or shutter speed to create the wished effect and many are digitally manipulated.

A large portion of fine art photography is shot on black & white film. Many professional photographers, art critics and publishers contend that black & white adds a nostalgic appeal to photographs, and this type of film is great for bringing out shapes, textures and form better than most color films, so in essence I tend to agree.

Fine art , like most photo genres does have a market, it being fine art photographic galleries, collectors, book publishers and art publishers. Several photographers use the advantages of digital to add "filters" or special effects to the finished image thereby creating the look of tempera, glazed, pencil drawing, watercolor and other painting formats.

Almost anywhere you look today you can find photographs that look like paintings and this has only been made possible by technology as not many can afford a true hand made painting but most can afford a printed reproduction.

As opposed to painting, photography offers a realism not usually found in paintings and many artists are turning to this medium as a new way of expressing their art and using photographs as guides to assist them in their artistic endeavors.

The principal subjects for fine art photography have mostly been nudes, nature's landscapes, still life, flowers, weather and portraits. Some of the early masters such as Ansel Adams, also used their fine art portrayals of America's natural wonders as political tools to incite Congress into the enactment of laws protecting such sites.

No special equipment is usually needed for fine art photography other than lights and perhaps filters if you wish to create special effects. However, always try to use the most sensitive film that you can obtain, such a those films rated at around an ISO of 50 to 64. These films have a very small grain pattern and are quite excellent in their color reproductions.

Although digital seems to be the future, consider using some positive films for your most detailed work.


6.10.2008 at 20:54h, License:  Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Germany (CC BY-SA 2.0 DE
6.10.2008 at 20:54h, License: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Germany (CC BY-SA 2.0 DE | Source

Can a photograph be considered fine art just like a painting?

  • Yes
  • Maybe
  • No
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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

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Comments 5 comments

Nan Mynatt 5 years ago

Great hub for the photography being art.


Brigitte Thompson profile image

Brigitte Thompson 5 years ago from Austin, TX

lovely photos, great info


meow48 profile image

meow48 5 years ago from usa

thankyou for the follow, i wanted to check out some of your work. really enjoyed this hub. very informative. now I can also see how your son would like anime as an artform also. some of the mangas that most anime come from are pure art to me. a picture does indeed convey a thousand words, take care. meow48


photostudiosupply profile image

photostudiosupply 4 years ago from Rochester, New York

Great hub for people interested in photography. Vote up!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

photostudiosupply: Thank you

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