A photograph can capture time and help you remember and celebrate the important moments in life. Adding a personalized depth to each photograph portraying the story of our lives.

The earliest fine art photographs were captured back in the early 1940s by a photographer named John Edwin Mayall. Soon after that there were more prominent traces found from the Victorian Era.

Even though it plays a significant role in human lives, photography was not recognized as fine art until the late 1950s where photographers such as Jeff Wall opened an entirely new aspect to photography leading to unique artistic visions and gallery exhibitions.

It takes a visually creative photographer to have an eye for little details to capture such photographs. And there are many other forms of photography. But the main principle or you can say the underlying criteria that distinguish fine art photography from the rest is that it’s not just about capturing a subject.

It’s more about changing the viewpoint. Every photograph contains a subject or an object, but it’s not about what the camera sees, it’s about what the photographer can see.

According to RebeccaTolk.com, fine art photography is all about expressing a specific vision and getting the viewer to feel a certain emotion when they view the photo. The camera is just a means to digitize that piece of art. Rather than just documenting the subject.

How Are Fine Art Photographs Identified?

Many factors identify an image as a fine art photograph. And there’s a huge difference between fine art photography and other fields of photography such as commercial and documentary. The idea blended with expressive techniques is how a fine art photograph is created.

Fine art photos are simply identified by their imaginative and aesthetic quality. Since they go beyond the literal representation of the object or a subject. They reveal that the image was created by an artist and not just the camera, as they portray a deep emotional connection and tend to be more expressive.

For example, you’re at a party and something vague struck your imagination, and you capture that idea. That is how you define a fine art photograph. But the element here is that the party or the subject has no meaning other than being just a means to your inspiration.

Whereas, commercial or documentary photography is the complete opposite of fine art photos. They tend to focus more on the people and events to keep photographic records.

How Are Fine Art Photographs Identified

How Are Fine Art Photographs Created?

Firstly, it starts with an idea, a vision. Which then after a few technical adjustments to the camera, the fine art concept is turned into an image. Although it may sound simple, it takes a lot of dedication and planning to create beautiful fine art photographs.

Sometimes the artist makes an entire setup to capture their vision through the camera lens. These types of photoshoots might have a subject or a model, but they tend to focus more on the expressive emotion that they portray. Which reflects the vision of the artist. Typically portraying a feeling or a message.

But, many artists prefer candid shots from a subway, a bus stop, a beach, basically, anywhere your imagination takes you.

After which comes the editing part. A lot of newbies and amateur photographers tend to avoid photoshop.

Whereas, photoshop and editing are purely a means to enhance image quality and add or erase details to make the picture more defined and personal.

In fine art photography, details matter. Even the tiniest matter, such as dust, can ruin the entire photograph. And that’s the reason photographers are always advised to run their images through photoshop to make sure every single detail is carved to perfection.

What Are The Different Types Of Fine Art Photography?

It all depends on how you define a certain type. The creative nature of the photograph can tell you what it’s about. But of course, we need a somewhat categorized version of these definitions to understand the concept.

Still confused? Browse through and I will explain a few types of fine art photographs sorted by genre.

Fine Art Night Photography

We all love the famous “dusk and dawn shoots”. If you’re already a photographer, you’d understand that most of the time is spent chasing the perfect light. The night shots bring out that magic.

Now, take the night light and add a purpose and meaning to your captures. Focusing more on the unique aspect of the common details. The expressive nature of the photographs will be defined as fine art night photographs.

Fine Art Portraitures

Portraitures mainly focus on the subject and their identity. Highlighting their story and personality. You take shots based on their perspectives rather than your ideas.

In fine art portraitures, the model is just an object to express your vision. It’s the complete opposite. The entire concept is based on the artist’s vision and the emotion of the message. The model’s personality and identity are completely irrelevant in this nature.

Fine Art Nature Photography

Thanks to photoshop, nature photography just keep getting popular each day. Nature fine art photography is not about control, it’s the uncertainty and wilderness of the natural settings such as the ocean, the landscapes, etc, that creates striking photographs.

Some of the best reality-altering fine art photographs are created in such natural spaces. The unique perspective blended with camera techniques allows countless possibilities in creating meaningful art.

Silhouette Photography

Silhouetting is one of the best examples of fine art photography. Silhouettes hide the subject entirely in the dark creating a suspenseful mystery to the photographs. Giving freedom to the artist to portray their message however they like.

Most silhouettes are captured under diffused sunlight. The blanks from the dark subject create enough room to develop a unique story. Since the model’s expression is not visible, only the outline of the silhouette matters to convey the message.

Creating a collage in burst mode changing the shape of the silhouette revolving around one core idea can make a massive difference.


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