Fine Art Photography… an art in its own right

Many photographers choose to specialise in only one area of photography, so it might be surprising to find social and commercial photography hand in hand with fine art on our site. But are they really as different as chalk and cheese? and what exactly is fine art photography? Well, I guess the wikipedia definition is a good starting point…

“Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism and commercial photography. Photojournalism is to promote an editorial point of view. Commercial photography’s main focus being to sell a product or service. The final creative reason for a fine art photograph is the photograph itself. It is not a means to another end except perhaps to please those besides the photographer who behold it.”

Commercial Photography is any kind of photography where money changes hands! so commercial can be fine art and fine art can be commercial.  For me, the fine art side of my life is a way of immersing myself in my own imagination, whereas in the wedding and business side of our work, the taste and requirements of the client and type of usage often can dictate the brief.

Photoshop has become a major tool in the process of creating fine art prints and I have learned and still am learning how to interpret an image in different ways just for the sake of itself and my own creative need. This is a case in point. The photograph below has been enhanced with Photoshop, bringing in a new sky and interpreting the picture as I felt and remembered it, rather than as the camera recorded it.

Stannage Edge

The picture below shows what the camera actually recorded. The beautiful light that I saw streaking across the foreground has been almost lost and the sky is bright and featureless. Some dodging and burning of the foreground areas coupled with dropping in a new sky were necessary to interpret the landscape as I had felt it on the day.

Stannage Edge before

The good thing about all of this is that there is a spin-off. Learn how to use editing tools to interpret a flower photograph beautifully and you also learn how to interpret other subjects. The processes have so much in common. Looking for beautiful light in landscape photography also helps you to see and appreciate (and create) lighting in all other areas of photography.

At SteelOrchid, we can also use our photo-editing and interpreting skills to offer beautiful fine art wedding photographs on the best textured or matte finished art papers. A great way to display these is in archival window mounts in portfolio boxes, a welcome alternative to the traditional album.

Fine Art prints have been prized in the USA for decades, but only recently are they gaining recognition in the UK. Prices are rising at the rate of 7% per year and so buying fine art photos can be an investment as well as buying something that is personal and not mass produced. Ink prints on art papers are now so stable that they can outlast traditional photographs and other types of printing by many decades. We have a growing selection of fine art prints for sale here.

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