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goros
09-15-2006, 04:46 PM
Well, I have read almost everything written here about Fine Art Photography and still don't understand.

In Spanish, there is a similar concept, Bellas Artes (=Fine Arts), that applies to the six tradicional arts: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, Declamation and Dance. Theater was included in Music and Poetry in Declamation. Later, cinema was added to the list and in Spanish, it is called "el séptimo Arte", the seventh Art.

But photography is not in yet.

Anyway, as far as I understand the whole thing (Art), it seems that, you are not considered an artist (in any media) unless some influential critic says that.

And back to fine art photography, every month, there is a section in Black & White Photography magazine ( the British one) called Golden Oldie. In it, the work of a photographer from other time is shown. Most of them were magazine photographers (Life, Picture Post, Town & Country, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, etc) and the pictures show the elegant and beautiful people of the time, as well as other artists and now, all this images are own by Getty Images. Well at the end of the section you could read:
"Fine-art prints of these classic images, and many others, can be purchased through the Getty Images Gallery by calling...".

Cheers

blansky
09-15-2006, 06:37 PM
And back to fine art photography, every month, there is a section in Black & White Photography magazine ( the British one) called Golden Oldie. In it, the work of a photographer from other time is shown. Most of them were magazine photographers (Life, Picture Post, Town & Country, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, etc) and the pictures show the elegant and beautiful people of the time, as well as other artists and now, all this images are own by Getty Images. Well at the end of the section you could read:
"Fine-art prints of these classic images, and many others, can be purchased through the Getty Images Gallery by calling...".

Cheers

I hope none of those guys were paid for their work, because if they were, there goes the purity.

It's just crass commercialism.

Please note sarcasm.


Michael

Early Riser
09-15-2006, 06:49 PM
Fine art? I know it when I see it.

lee
09-15-2006, 07:20 PM
I always assume nekkid girls when I see "Fine Art Photography"

but that is just me.

lee\c

blansky
09-15-2006, 07:24 PM
I always assume nekkid girls when I see "Fine Art Photography"

but that is just me.

lee\c

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Michael

catem
09-16-2006, 05:11 AM
Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Michael

As long as they're printed on fibre-based paper of course :p

Cate

Black Dog
09-16-2006, 01:55 PM
Fine art photography-everyone knows what that is right? ;) :rolleyes: You have to use a large format camera (preferably 8x10 or bigger) made from the wood of an ancient mallorn tree by the elves of Lothlorien under a starry sky and fitted with a Dagor made in Nargothrond or Gondolin during the First Age of Middle Earth-luckily I have one :cool: :p :) :D .MF is ok as long as you use something with Zeiss lenses (otherwise you're a wedding photographer) and 35 mm is just about ok as long as you use either a Leica RF or something that hasn't been made since 1956 ....Film has to be b&w of course, preferably as close to an old style thick emulsion type as possible (TMAX???!!! ) and developed in Pyro.Prints MUST be on FB paper developed in an ancient amidol formula handed down through the generations-black stained fingers are essential for maximum credibility and don't forget to wax lyrical about how good Medalist, Azo etc were compared to those rubbishy modern papers (no silver in them, y'know...).Simple really ;) :D :rolleyes: ... but of course there's a lot more to fine art photography than just equipment and techniques. Photographers like John Blakemore and Paul Caponigro produce beautifully crafted prints which are full of vision -mere technique alone is not enough to achieve this level of work. You must work at really SEEING Grasshopper!

davetravis
09-16-2006, 10:23 PM
Perhaps, the truth is out there.
Today, I sold my Ilfochromes right next to a booth selling "Hand-made Fine Art Soap Bars." They looked and smelled real nice, so I concluded that "Fine Art is in the armpits of the smeller." :D

Terence
09-17-2006, 03:03 PM
Fine art photography = Phi * $10 * (((# of "art" classes taken)^(# of non-art friends the "artist" has)) * (# of times "artist" mentions "vision" in their artist's statement) * (# of times per day "artist" says people don't understand "art") )/((average edition size) *(# of "fine art" photos "artist" has actually sold)*(# of shots per film type used))

Phi = "Fineness Factor"
= 1 for digicrap
= 2 for "traditional" color
= 3 for "silver gelatin" B&W
= 4 for "archivally toned" B&W

JBrunner
09-18-2006, 10:44 AM
Fine art photography = Phi * $10 * (((# of "art" classes taken)^(# of non-art friends the "artist" has)) * (# of times "artist" mentions "vision" in their artist's statement) * (# of times per day "artist" says people don't understand "art") )/((average edition size) *(# of "fine art" photos "artist" has actually sold)*(# of shots per film type used))

Phi = "Fineness Factor"
= 1 for digicrap
= 2 for "traditional" color
= 3 for "silver gelatin" B&W
= 4 for "archivally toned" B&W

Finally, something that makes some sense!!! :)

jimcollum
09-18-2006, 10:55 AM
= 5 for alt processes
= 100 for hand coated paper and film ... all chemistry mixed from scratch.. after all.. anything less is an automated process :)



Fine art photography = Phi * $10 * (((# of "art" classes taken)^(# of non-art friends the "artist" has)) * (# of times "artist" mentions "vision" in their artist's statement) * (# of times per day "artist" says people don't understand "art") )/((average edition size) *(# of "fine art" photos "artist" has actually sold)*(# of shots per film type used))

Phi = "Fineness Factor"
= 1 for digicrap
= 2 for "traditional" color
= 3 for "silver gelatin" B&W
= 4 for "archivally toned" B&W

Terence
09-18-2006, 11:28 AM
= 5 for alt processes
= 100 for hand coated paper and film ... all chemistry mixed from scratch.. after all.. anything less is an automated process :)

I thought about those, but after my feeble atempts, I'm assuming anyone doing that work is too busy spending years trying to get it right to be putzing around selling prints or creating a website.

Black Dog
09-19-2006, 02:30 AM
Terence-you forgot to mention 'intuitive', 'juxtapose' and 'existential' LOL....

Paul.
09-19-2006, 05:25 PM
Well I have just read 10 pages of total bo--oks, I will leave the artists and academics among you to squabble on.

I only strive to be a craftsman, to render that which I saw and felt when I released the shutter in the finished print, in such a manner that the viewer will also share and appreciate that experiance.

You may call it what you will, I make pictures.

As a final thought, great artists were/are craftsmen/woman. They didnot talk about it they DID IT.

Regards to all Paul.

JBrunner
09-19-2006, 08:26 PM
Well I have just read 10 pages of total bo--oks, I will leave the artists and academics among you to squabble on.

I only strive to be a craftsman, to render that which I saw and felt when I released the shutter in the finished print, in such a manner that the viewer will also share and appreciate that experiance.

You may call it what you will, I make pictures.

As a final thought, great artists were/are craftsmen/woman. They didnot talk about it they DID IT.

Regards to all Paul.

I did it. I like doing it. Anyone else feel like doing it?

Alex Hawley
09-19-2006, 08:38 PM
I did it. I like doing it. Anyone else feel like doing it?

I do. Works for me. That's all I need.

bill schwab
09-19-2006, 08:42 PM
So can someone define "Fine Art Photography" for me please?A good search term to use in your html meta files so the thousands of people using it to search for photography can find you.

Bill

Harrigan
09-23-2006, 07:41 AM
Well…I’m sorry for making such a provocative post. What I wrote was not something that I came up but I did expect to get some reaction to it.

While plenty of people jump on the bash bandwagon nobody that did offered much or had the intelligence or guts to publicly propose any good definitions if fine art.

I do have alot of respect for the response Roteage left, thanks for stating your opinions without trepidation.

However in response to these bashings I don’t think doing a comissioned work of art is in any way at all even close to being similar to creating works explicitly for sale. I don’t know how I could have been more specific.

I never defined that all works not created for sale are fine art did I? Please don’t put your words in my mouth. However paint by number has been widely exhibited in many galleries.

I’m not sure what was meant by Blansky when he degraded “the academics” and their lack of accomplishments? I’m not sure if he means the professors that frequent this site daily or the thousands of very significant artists that have taught their craft at the higher level. --WOW--

If you think I am Satan for saying what I did then you are entitiled to feel this way. I apologize for not following the unwritten apug politically correct statute.

Jim Jones
09-23-2006, 12:01 PM
[QUOTE=Harrigan;368049] . . . I don’t think doing a comissioned work of art is in any way at all even close to being similar to creating works explicitly for sale. . . .
QUOTE]

Sometimes they are much alike. A photographer can apply the same creative and technical ability to a subject prescribed by a client as to a subject of his own choice. The best analogy that comes to mind outside the field of photography is music. Mozart was the ultimate commercial composer. Some of his works were done on commission. Others were done in hopes of sales or lucrative contacts. Some were done for his own public performances. A few were done with no known specific end use. Despite these varied goals, the quality is consistantly good, and sometimes great.

Photographers can well consider commissioned photos as a challange, not as a chore. Ruth Bernhard's commercial work sometimes shows as much creativity as her photographs that we would consider fine art. Karsh of Ottawa created masterpieces while doing commercial portraits. It's the photograph, not the reasons for its creation, that might make it a masterpiece. Unfortunately, an influential critic or a wealthy patron can help, too.

Videbaek
09-26-2006, 08:14 AM
I hope I manage to post this correctly... I've read through this thread, and it's a good one because the intial question was one line and it has spawned umpteen lines of back-and-forth. Just a few things I'd like to rebut, because they're nonsensical in various ways. First: "Ignore the art history academics because they know nothing". Not so. There are a great many "art academics" active today who do a great service to art by bringing unknown, unrecognized and important artists to the attention of the public -- by writing about them, championing their cause. Art that is radically new, different and difficult is almost always ignored unless it is recognized and championed by people in a position to do something to make it known. These visionaries are indispensable and we would all be much the poorer without them. They have the eye to recognize greatness and they have the training and cultivation to explain why it is great. Of course, one can question their judgement and the modern art world is nothing if not full of question marks regarding the significance of the art that is being displayed. Recently I went to see a photographic exhibition of the work of Wolfgang Tillmans in Helsinki's "Art Hall". Tillmans was the first photographer to win the Turner art prize. I was expecting something powerful, but this exhibition is perhaps the most boring and unimaginative photographic exhibition I have ever seen.

Second, someone wrote something along the lines of "the great artists have never discussed art they have just done it". This sort of belief is akin to the old saw, "Those who can't do, teach", which so often comes out of the mouths of people who should know better. The great artists of history have discussed every facet of their art -- its role in society, its craftsmanship, its narrative possibilities, its historical significance -- with their contemporaries and colleagues, throughout their lives, at every possible opportunity. Leonardo da Vinci, the greatest draughtsman who ever lived, spent a lifetime discussing art with his knowledgeable patrons and contemporaries and wrote down his philosophy of art for posterity in his Treatise on Painting. A great many artistic movements have been born of intense discussions on the political nature and role of art that have taken place between like-minded artists and hangers-on -- surrealism and impressionism are perhaps the most famous examples. Not only have great artists discussed art ad nauseum amongst themselves and everyone else who cared to listen, they have founded artistic movements based on ideologies that explicitly reject contemporary politics and societal norms of behaviour. Their arrogance has
reached as high as the belief that art can change the world.

I don't believe there is any value in distinguishing between "art" and "fine art". The fine arts are generally acknowledged to comprise painting, sculpture, dance, theatre, music and cinema. Like painting, photography consists of creating the illusion of three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional surface. Painting is as old as humanity and photography is less than two hundred years old, so we can expect that some time will pass before it is admitted to the canon. The fine arts have always existed in a commercial context -- all artists have had to making a living or starve. Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel by the Pope.

Photography has been dominating the walls of galleries and modern art museums for over ten years, at least in Europe, at the expense of painting. Anybody who believes that photography is under-recognized or under-appreciated has not been visiting modern art museums or galleries. There is almost nothing but photography -- much of it arid, intellectualized nonsense straining after the thinnest of ideas. God only knows where the poor painters and sculptors are showing.

Photography's domination of the modern art museums and galleries is, I believe, a reflection of photography's ubiquity in modern life. Painting and drawing has virtually disappeared from printed publications, replaced by photography and computer-rendered illustration based on photography. The only holdout is the venerable editorial cartoon, still drawn by hand, and I'm waiting for these to be replaced by computer renderings when the current generation of editorial cartoonists retires. Their replacements won't be able to draw anything by hand. There are still comics and comic books, bandes dessinées, still done by hand so perhaps there is hope. Television and cinema are essentially photography-in-movement, and the influence of these media is overwhelming. The question is not "Why isn't photography appreciated as an art form?", it is rather "How can art escape from under the colossal weight of photography?".

As to "What is art?", well, it's the ever-present question and the answer is entirely subjective, a matter of taste. Art is truly in the eye of the beholder. For me, in order to qualify as art a visual work must show a mastery of technique, graphical potency, feeling, and above all originality. Originality is the greatest problem of the photographic artist, so many get lost chasing it with ideas that perhaps can never be fully realized with photography. One must know what has been done before in order to avoid repeating what has already been done, and with the millions upon millions of photographic images produced every day, this is well nigh impossible. And there are so many inherent limitations on photography that do not exist with painting: the characteristics of the camera, how the optics work, the characteristics of the film or CCD, given to the photographer by the manufacturer with very little room to maneuver. One must understand all the limitations intimately before one can transcend them. And the greatest limitation of all: the camera must be pointed at something in order for an image to appear on the film. A painter can paint purely from the imagination, with his fingers, blind-folded, and create a work of art. Without his camera, blind-folded, the photographer can do nothing unless he tries his hand at painting.

The point is that it all comes down to the seeing. A photograph can certainly be a work of art, but it depends on the originality of its seeing. Some of the world's most revered photographs have been taken as 35 mm snapshots in a split-second with no advance preparation of any kind except the photographer's highly developed ability to see. Taking the totality of a scene in, the play of light and dark, the sound of wind and dogs barking, the swift movement of people and things, Cartier-Bresson imposed a geometrical order and human meaning on his pictures that was not there except for the angle of his Leica, the speed of his film, and the precise moment his finger released the shutter.

Avedon did the simplest of things to create his famous Western "portraits on white". He stood his subjects against a plain white background, so that his camera's ability to draw his subjects -- all their wrinkles, spots, physical idiosyncrasies -- would be as powerful as possible. And he chose people that looked interesting and odd, a saintly-handsome Latino oilfield worker, a care-worn mother with haunted eyes, people who would photograph well.

I suppose that for me, a work of art is one in which the joy of seeing flows out and envelops me, uplifts me. I am swept away by the artist's celebration of sight.