It begins to be interesting ;) when you know why. Why you want to look at it again and again.
you enjoy labels i do not.
label all you want...
it is what it is, i prefer not to use labels and pigeonholes ..
"fine art/art/whatever" has plenty to communicate other than "look at me"
you just have to find the meaning in it, like everything else in life ...
maybe it is an unintended meaning, who knows ... the best of it all
has some personal-connection ...
as neil ( cheech marin ) and pepe ( tommy chong ) said so well in "afterhours"
--- this sure is ugly, no man, its art, the uglier it is, the more its worth --
I don't enjoy labels.
The point is that they are not labels. They are words having a meaning, signifying real differences.
I enjoy those different things for the different things they are, and the differences between them.
Something you cannot if you think their proper names are pidgeonholes that are to be avoided.
You're missing out on a lot of good stuff! ;)
For me, a fine art photograph is a photograph that stands on its own, without context or caption, and regardless of the intent or lack thereof.
First, if we could not talk about subjective concepts, we would for ever be silent.
Second, trying to define (not the first thing you want to do) a slippery concept, talking about a slippery concept, rather than not doing so because it is a slippery concept, is the only way to deal with it.
The fact that it is there in a perhaps yet 'undefined form', means there is something there, even if we would choose to further ignore it.
It doesn't go away.
So the choice is to deal with it, or live in perpetual denial of something you can't help but acknowledge is there to stay (i.e. go, or already be, bonkers ;)).
It would be a terrible shame if only philosophers and other academics and art critics would keep themselves busy with art.
And it of course is not so.
It is also a terrible shame that indeed so much gibberish is talked about art (and many other things). But that can only happen because people allow that to go unchecked.
And if you can tell that it gibberish, you already have joined the philosophers etc.
So join in fully. If you can tell that it is gibberish, you can also tell why, and what there is to say that is not gibberish. Don't cop out because the concept is slippery. Get a grip!
Maybe I don't so specifically agree on the "without caption" part of it. Sometimes the caption and/or title is a part of the piece. Not all the time, but sometimes.
I think intent is in no way the determiner. It is the way it is used/presented that makes the determination. Is it there simply to be a photograph, or does it exist as a photograph primarily in order to serve a purpose other than this?
The line is blurred all the time. Documentary pix often blur the line, and sometimes even photojournalism, especially when viewed in retrospect. Additionally, you also see work that was originally commercial becoming fine art at a later date...but as I said, it is the specific use that is the determiner, not the original intent.
As an example of how I think on the issue: The Ansel Adams shots on the covers of his books are commercial, though they were originally intended as fine art. In this case, the shot is used to make the purchase of the book appealing; not solely to display the photograph. The shots within are fine art. They are placed there to be viewed as photographs. In his technical books, many of the photos that were originally fine art are used as instruction aids. Original intent, or the actual content or style of the photo has nothing to do with it. It is the use that matters....but not that it really matters what the definition is anyhow....
The posts placing highest value on aesthetics are probably in best agreement with the traditional definition of fine art.
It may actually be easier for us to agree on what 'fine art' and 'aesthetics' are not, than to say precisely what they are. (Critical theorists and artists themselves have wrestled with these definitions for a very long time, so... patience, patience y'all...)
I think we can probably agree that commercialism, mass production, imitation, etc. are not consistent with the ideals of fine art. That is progress.
Now, some may argue that fine art cannot be created in a casual way (i.e. in 'snapshooting' mode) but... I am not so sure. I find my own thoughts can front-load a photograph so much that whatever modicum of fresh aesthetic was present in the scene gets completely obscured. There is something very liberating about snapshooting sometimes and appreciating a scene for itself, as its own aesthetic.