Some recent threads here on APUG, and recent darkroom work has made me question what fine art in photography really is.
Is it the subject matter?
Is it the technique?
Is it the subject matter plus the technique?
Is it the photographer's (new/original) take on the subject?
Is it the fame of the photographer?
Is it the commercial success of the photographer?
Is it the response the photograph evokes in the viewer?
Does the 'genre' of photography that the photograph belongs to have a significant impact on whether it's considered fine art?
I'm not suggesting that the answer is an all or nothing response to any (or all) of the questions posted above, because I don't think there is one right answer. I guess I'm looking for other people's ideas are of what they consider fine art.
Some other questions I have been considering are:
Are photographers like Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell fine art photographers, or are they landscape photographers that are very proficient in technique? Since I know the effort that is involved in making such photos, does that make them "worth" more? What about to the general public who generally know very little about what it takes to make a great photograph? Similarly, what about other photographers who produce blurry, grainy, or otherwise "technically-deficient" photographs that are well received by many, but ridiculed by others? And the list goes on...but won't, for fear of making this thread way too long!
I guess I should also point out that I've never taken any courses in fine art, or art history; the only photographic books I own are by photographers I like or books on printing and technique; and that although I've displayed some prints I made (once, in France), I've never sold (or won) anything, or have tried to.