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  1. #1

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    What makes fine art photography "fine art"

    I am a novice in photography in general. I've honestly been having trouble going out and shooting because I dont know what to shoot. After doing LOTS of digging and finding what interests me the most, I found examples of fine art that really got me thinking. I dont have the intention of creating a photo in a studio, but go out in the world. My question is, as it states in the Title, What makes fine art photography, "fine art"? Perhaps im asking myself too much to start with, but I want my time spent with photography to be on one genre instead of being a master of all.


    I know gear isnt as important as the operator, but I have an elan II w/ a canon 50mm 1.4, will only use HP5+ 400 asa, HC-110 Dev. Is this a good starting point? What im trying to do is eliminate as many distracting variables and stick with the same film, dev, focal length "normal"...etc.


    More then anything, I want to find my photographic voice and have my voice recognizable. I want to gain inspiration from photographers, but I not shoot like them if that makes any sense.

  2. #2
    Rom
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    Photographing is like cooking !

    When you start you have to follow some receipts in terms to learn. When you get the good taste, you will be able to add your personal touch.

    So, if you want to concentrate on one genre, i will suggest:
    - find some photographers that you love their style
    - try to figure which combo film/dev they use
    - go straight in that genre of photography

    - make your art and at least, when you will have feel that you mastered it or if you want to promote, call it "fine art"
    All the best,
    Rom
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  3. #3

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    Even as a student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree I have to ask the question, what makes anything fine art? The answer comes down to intentions. If the image has no practical function it can be considered fine art as opposed to commercial or editorial photography. But art that has function can also be called fine art. It is all about intention and perception. Fine art generally refers to something that is about higher thought and feeling that's soul purpose is to be art.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

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  4. #4
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    An extra 40% on the selling price.


    Steve.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rom View Post
    Photographing is like cooking !
    I would say photographic processing is very like cooking (time/temperature), but not sure about that analogy for photographing. Probably more like fishing, but of course depends on the sort of photography you are doing.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6
    David Brown's Avatar
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    This is an un-answerable question. It's been discussed on this and other forums for years and there is still no consensus.

    Just go out and make the pictures that you wish to make. That is all that matters.

  7. #7

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    What makes fine art photography "fine art"

    There isn't really an answer, especially on this forum, but two things are for certain - an art education helps and the validation of critics is absolutely necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by zackesch View Post
    I have an elan II w/ a canon 50mm 1.4, will only use HP5+ 400 asa, HC-110 Dev. Is this a good starting point?
    A Leica is a bare minimum. This is what I've discovered through poring over books and literature. But go medium or large format if you want to literally nail the 'fine' bit - assuming you know how to focus.
    35mm photographers rarely win the fine art label from critics because their negatives are too small and heads too big. (Try Googling a picture of Garry Winogrand and tell me he doesn't have a big head. Critics don't like this, as it takes up gallery space reserved for their own giant craniums - physically and otherwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by zackesch View Post
    More then anything, I want to find my photographic voice and have my voice recognizable.
    Give it 20+ years minimum, assuming you're in your 20s/30s and ready to go. Art photographers by law of averages (historically speaking) don't get any recognition until their 40s.

    This isn't a generalisation, it's the brutal truth. Anyone who disagrees has spent too much time in the darkroom. Or not enough.

    Oh, and if you want to be a fine artist in the 21st century (most on APUG don't look at photography post-1950, no criticism, just the truth) you need to develop intense critical facility, sequence your images and learn art speak.
    Last edited by batwister; 11-02-2012 at 03:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    What makes fine art photography "fine art"

    I often find that those who call themselves "fine artists" in their website bio aren't.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
    I often find that those who call themselves "fine artists" in their website bio aren't.
    What he said. 'Artist' is acceptable, I'll decide if it's 'fine'.

  10. #10

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    Thank you all for your input thus far. I see what you are saying that there is no true meaning of what fine art is. If people who see my work, and concider it "fine art" then thats good enough for me.

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