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What is fine art photography?

Saturday, 29 September 2012 00:43
I am going to talk a little about artistic photography and the world of fine arts!
What does consider as an artistic photo? How we can make it? Does taking a picture consider an art? And finally, what is fine art photography and who does considar an artist?

How many times did you ask these question from yourself when you shoot a photo by your camera, no matter it is most professional new released DSLR camera or just the camera of your cellphone. If you are like me, countless times! I still ask these question from myself during and after every single photography which I do! Finding the suitable answer for these questions is the first step in taking professioanl and artistic photos, I believe! 
As we know, photography and taking pictures can have many uses. But generally, there are two different approaches to the photography which have absolutely two different goals. These approaches are factual, which is based on record keeping such as identification photos, memorial photos, medical photos, etc., and the artistic one! Unless the factual approach, the artistic approach is based on expressing feelings, emotions, and opinions by interpreting the existing facts, not just showing them in the way they really are! 

Fine art photo by Mani Pirouzbakht

When your goal of photography is just recording the facts that you see, exactly in the same way they exist, we call it as record keeping! Because it is just a record for archive, a single moment which happend in the real life and your photo is a proof of it! Thus, in the record keeping, the goal of the photographer is to record a place, an event, a person, or an object. In the real life, we need these picture to show others that we were witnesses of these happenings, places, persons, facts, etc. and they are really exist exactly in the way we record them!
Instead, art is not concerned with record keeping. Art is concerned with expressing emotions, feelings and opinion through a visual harmony called composition, rather than only showing the facts in the way they exist and every one can see them! In the other words, record keeping is based on fact, and is concerned with capturing reality and recording things as they are, so it's called factual. But art is a non factual concept and is concerned with interpreting reality rather than capturing reality as is.

Therefore, record keeping is a necessity of our life, something our society is based on it and we use it every day, in our office badge, in the news and so on! But art is not a necessity! Art is something we want, not something we need. That is the matter!
Now that we know a little about these two approaches, we can go furture and look at them by more professional view. In the world of professional photography there is a main difference between record keeping and artistic photo! Record keeping is about the subject of photograph, not about the person who took it. Instead an artistic photograph is about the response of the photographer to the subject of the photograph. Thus, in artistic photography, it is first about the person who takes the photograph and then it is about the subject. It means the personality of the photographer must be present in the image for artistic photograph to have value! 

Fine art portrait by Mani Pirouzbakht

Finally we get to the point to talk about artistic photography, or if we want to talk more professioanlly, the fine art photography! Fine art photography generally has three aspects. We know about thow of them and now we are going to know all of them and talk about them one by one!
The fine art photography is first about the artist, second the subject and third the techniques. These consider as three main aspects of every fine art photo! Thus, it means first you need to be an artist and know what considers art! That is the answer for one of our questions! Only taking picture does not make some one artist who has a camera! In the art of photography, necessarily, the composition is the vessel which artist put his or her art on it and present it to the others. So, to be consider an artist you need to be the master of composition, or else, you would be just a photographer or a person with a camera not an artist!
Next, you need to know what shoot at it! It's different from person to person, based on the fields anyone has chosen to work on it by its own interest. But  it is very important to choose you subject very carefully to represent your true emotions and you can make a harmony with them. You really need to go out and find something to shoot at them which truly can show your emotions. Luck just has a little to do with it, and just does a little favor for you, and not always!

The Road_ Fine art picture by Mani Pirouzbakht

And the last, but not least, you need to be great master of techniques for the moments you are going to create an art. It's completely essential that you know for any kind of subjects and each kind of composition, what techniques should be used to accompany your goal of taking that picture and it has two parts!
One part includes the techniques in the time of photography, such as light metric, macro, movement, portraits, etc.
And the most important part is the essential knowledge and skills in editing photos to adjust any, I repeat, any aspect of mechanical captured photograph exactly based on your true emotions! It means you need to adjust any color, any light, shadow, subject, etc., based on your emotions, in the way it should be! NOT ONLY PRESENT IT IN THE WAY A MECHANICAL DEVICE RECORDED IT! Camera is just a tool for an artist, so it can never take the artist place in creating art, no matter how expensive it is! And be aware, even the best cameras of the world change what you are seeing with your eyes at least in eight different ways!