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roteague
09-13-2006, 12:51 PM
Work done with an artistic purpose and the requisite skill to communicate this.

Defining art is really not difficult - PRODUCING it is the hard part!

I have to agree with David. I have two sections on my web site for images, Fine Art and Travel. I approach each differently. My travel images, mostly done in 35mm, don't have the studied approach I use with my Fine Art work, mostly 4x5.

roteague
09-13-2006, 12:55 PM
I call myself a Fine Art Photographer and sell what I call Fine Art Photographs in part due to the fact that I participate in so many Art Shows (gallery representation hopefully to come). I put a tremendous amount of care in composition, lighting, and exposure with my transparency work which is taken to the nth degree through printing onto a Chromira machine with my Printer, Bill Nordstrom (Laser Light Photographics). The final work is displayed in custom made wooden frames that compliment or contrast the images.

Rich

I as well. Most of my images are triple matted, and I select the color of the inner mat based upon the image as well as the frame itself. I look at the complete package, not just the image.

blansky
09-13-2006, 12:58 PM
I call my stuff "fine art photography" because......well because......I can.

It's called marketing.

I'd call it "fine cuisine" but since I don't own a restaurant, I don't.

There a many words I could use but since I didn't bother to take the time to think of them, I just copied what someone else had done.

Seems to work.

Michael

jovo
09-13-2006, 02:02 PM
The 'fine art' descriptor makes sense to me just to reinforce the notion that it doesn't include weddings, bar mitzvahs, car crashes and perp walks. I think it also suggests, perhaps pretentiously (though I like to think it doesn't) that there's a bit more to it than what would constitute mere 'decor' making, even if that's how it eventually ends up. It's also a bit more streamlined on one's business card than "Photographer of Images That Are Only Intended for Display, Contemplation and Aesthetic Stimulation Inc."

kjsphoto
09-13-2006, 02:11 PM
To me, fine art is anything done without a computer. It is something that takes real human talent. It is a craft that is learned over time and perfected using your human skills and talents, not a programmers that has provided algorithms to give you the ability to reproduce within his constraints not through the expansion of your own progressive creativity.

Kev

HerrBremerhaven
09-13-2006, 02:47 PM
Hello Peter,

I don't think it is so much of how it is produced, as it is whether or not it is shown, and in what context it is shown. Coming from a painting background, I see one off artwork could be considered fine art, which I suppose could lead some to think I would be biased against editions, or limited editions. My own choice is one off images for my photography displayed as fine art, though I recently had one of my fine art images chosen for use in an ad campaign (many thousands of reprints off a press); there is still only one original bit of film, and one chemical print from that.

There are many good explanations and thoughts in this thread. While getting a one true definition or concept might be elusive, hopefully reading all these posts gives you an idea of how to express this concept to your own satisfaction. If you want to define it very tightly, or be somewhat loose in your interpretation, I think few would take offense, nor would many consider it wrong.

The one original in photography is that frame of film that captured that image. Anything after that is a reproduction, though the choices of reproduction are often aspects that lead to heated discussions. My opinion is that inkjet reproduction is more like poster printing, but despite what I think about this there are numerous photographers selling inkjet prints as fine art prints. There is no mob rule in fine art, though we can only look back years from now to see how our current situation affects art history.

Technically if I wanted to use cardboard or newsprint and draw on it with magic markers, it could be fine art . . . if I can get a juror to accept it to an exhibit, or get a gallery to display it. While such an image would not be archival and probably fall apart after a couple years, it would still be fine art, just not finely made fine art. I have seen this often outside of photography, with paintings or scultures done in such a way that I know they will deteriorate, sometimes rapidly. I have also seen interesting exhibits involving wax cast sculptures that burned and melted, lasting only for a short time during the opening, and perhaps only retained for future generations viewing as a series of stills or a video. There has also been video as fine art, some of it I think very poorly done, though a few surprises.

The wonderful thing about the art world is that everything is in a constant state of change and motion. If you really want to push some aspects of your photography, perhaps you want to state that is it traditional photography, rather than just fine art.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio
http://www.allgstudio.com

Curt
09-13-2006, 04:38 PM
I didn't read any of the replies so I can say what I think is Fine Art Photography. I believe it is Photography taken without the desire to make it commercial. That's not to say that any Photo can be used commercially. I believe it's Photography for Photographys sake.

clay
09-13-2006, 04:40 PM
Hmmmm..... Where you stand depends on where you sit.


To me, fine art is anything done without a computer. It is something that takes real human talent. It is a craft that is learned over time and perfected using your human skills and talents, not a programmers that has provided algorithms to give you the ability to reproduce within his constraints not through the expansion of your own progressive creativity.

Kev

John McCallum
09-13-2006, 06:02 PM
Luv David G.'s answer. Succinct and accurate from my perspective.

A cynical answer to the question "is it fine art?" might be


It is Fine Art if it is designed to be received and successful by the marketing machine of the world of collectable art, whilst holding true to the artist's intentions. incidentally the last part seems often to be molded by the middle part, and certainly isn't essential to the process.


When people ask me what I do I have several choices. I can just tell them I'm a photographer. But they never seem satisfied with that and ask if I shoot weddings, etc. I have replied by saying that I'm a "landscape photographer" and then people ask me if there's a good living to be made in photographing gardens. So out of the desire not to call myself an "art photographer" or "fine art photographer" I tell them a far more detailed and lengthy description of what I do. Like," I travel around and shoot B&W photos of landscapes and scenes and then make prints which get sold in galleries" which still sounds pretentious and then they ask me if I own the galleries. I guess if I did they could then generalize me as a "gallery owner".

Simple fact of the matter is that if you make your living by selling prints or "art" that no matter what you say, short of not saying anything, it's bound to sound pretentious to someone. Using the term "art photographer" doesn't work well either because most people seem to think that anything to do with art is BS or that it's just a hobby of mine. I guess I'm stuck with the long answer.
Though certainly not as far down the road as you Brian, I commonly run into the same line of questioning and end up with the same conundrum of what's an appropriate answer in this situation?. Depending on my knowledge of the enquirer and if they seem unlikely to be receptive to a long answer, I'll dumb it right down - [i]"I do photographic art - for the walls". Usually that will prick their curiosity enough to enquire further. If I wish to, I can then tell them more on my own terms.

Harrigan
09-13-2006, 08:46 PM
Fine Art to me is art done absolutly and entirely without the influence of money or selling the piece. Fine art is not made for sale because selling pieces effects the art created. Fine art is pure and made without these outside distractions purely for satisfaction.

If you make prints expressly for selling you are doing commercial art.

Fine art to me is not made to sell its made as art only. Don't get me wrong you can sell fine art but the imagery, painting or whatever it is is made without these outside influences of money that inherently effect the images. Imagery made without the influence of selling.

blansky
09-13-2006, 09:59 PM
Fine Art to me is art done absolutly and entirely without the influence of money or selling the piece. Fine art is not made for sale because selling pieces effects the art created. Fine art is pure and made without these outside distractions purely for satisfaction.

If you make prints expressly for selling you are doing commercial art.

Fine art to me is not made to sell its made as art only. Don't get me wrong you can sell fine art but the imagery, painting or whatever it is is made without these outside influences of money that inherently effect the images. Imagery made without the influence of selling.

Money is evil.

Photography for money is evil.

As soon as money is involved, the work is not "pure".

What a load of hogwash.

Michael

scootermm
09-13-2006, 10:06 PM
Money is evil.

Photography for money is evil.


photography is evil.

we are all evil.

I mean, duh, we are human ... and humans are just plain evil.

like the "fruits of the DEVEEEL"

Early Riser
09-13-2006, 10:22 PM
Fine Art to me is art done absolutly and entirely without the influence of money or selling the piece. Fine art is not made for sale because selling pieces effects the art created. Fine art is pure and made without these outside distractions purely for satisfaction.

If you make prints expressly for selling you are doing commercial art.

Fine art to me is not made to sell its made as art only. Don't get me wrong you can sell fine art but the imagery, painting or whatever it is is made without these outside influences of money that inherently effect the images. Imagery made without the influence of selling.


Ok so we cross off all the works by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Titian, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Renoir, Picasso, Monet, etc. Clearly by your standard their work is not art but someone's paint by numbers is. Glad we got that all straightened out, now let's replace that tacky Sistine chapel ceiling with some Elvis's on black velvet.

John McCallum
09-13-2006, 10:59 PM
Exactly.

Sorry Harrigan, but put on a thin black knit and wake up and smell the beaujolais :).

MattKing
09-13-2006, 11:14 PM
I think Harrigan should be congratulated - as far as I can recall, this is the quickest and largest amount of agreement on a subject concerning "art" that I have witnessed since I started visiting APUG :p .

FWIW, to me, for photography to be considered "Fine Art Photography", it must something different than a simple record, or illustration, or representation that is intended to fulfill another purpose (such as sell another product).

The photograph must be created with an intention that it convey an impression, message, view, emotion or feeling, and with the expectation that it accomplish its task by being viewed, in person. It might reasonably be expected to be hung on a wall, or a desk, or a shelf, with a frame (although other display options are a possibility (murals?).

I guess I am trying to say that a "Fine Art Photograph" is the reason for its own existence. It needs to either stand on its own, or in the case of photographs in a series, in conjunction with other parts of the series. The photograph needs to be and make its own statement, to be a Fine Art Photograph.

It is certainly possible that other types of photography can both accomplish other purposes and at the same time be imbued with artistic purpose and vision (e.g. travel photographs, journalism or cinematography).

I acknowledge that this description tends to exclude from consideration photographs that form part of more multi-disciplinary and multi-media forms of artistic expression. I expect there is some way of rewording the description to include those as well, but I cannot quite figure out how.

Matt

John McCallum
09-13-2006, 11:58 PM
I don't think that " photography that is intended to be viewed, and might reasonably be expected to be on a wall" defines it well enough. There is all sorts of photography that will fulfill these criterior.

For the sake of discussion. Should FA include my photo of my cat, favourite fishing spot ... great uncle Jock Macdougle?

Many think it should be absolutely pure/meaningful/angst-ridden from the emancipated heart and graft of years at the technique grindstone for naught in commercial compromise. I have met people like this who after a lifetime of pure, meaningful, angst ridden technical graft, they add unsold and extremely unsatisfied to the list.

So perhaps it is somewhere in between. That is, something that someone else wishes to own so much they'll pay money for it. If you're lucky they want to buy for the reasons you made the image.

If it is this, then I suggest the point at which art is regarded as Fine Art is defined by the art market. when as D.G. put it so eloquently earlier, it can be defined legitimately in the tax system.

roteague
09-14-2006, 12:21 AM
If you make prints expressly for selling you are doing commercial art.

I understand your sentiments, but can't agree with you. Every print I make is with the express purpose of selling it; both as a means to share the image with others, and to make a living doing what I love most in the world.

stevebarry
09-14-2006, 12:56 AM
lots of egos here. very few people understand art. any real artist can take a great photo, but few photographers make "art". evreything gets called "art" today....the breakdown of authority....everyone is an artist, musician, journalist, writer, critic, etc. on the internet.

roteague
09-14-2006, 01:00 AM
lots of egos here. very few people understand art. any real artist can take a great photo, but few photographers make "art". evreything gets called "art" today....the breakdown of authority....everyone is an artist, musician, journalist, writer, critic, etc. on the internet.

What do you consider your work to be?

stevebarry
09-14-2006, 01:06 AM
What do you consider your work to be?

not much of anything yet....but you havent seen any of it....so whatcha gettin at?