What is Fine Art Photography?

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Stephen Edgar

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Mar 3, 2001, 9:03:52 AM3/3/01
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Hi Folks,
I recently bought a book called Adobe Photoshop : A Masterclass, by
'fine art' photographer John Paul Caponigro. The book is pretty hard
going, filled with quotes, thoughts, discussions etc ranging from
everyone from Matisse to Goethe. I'm intrigued by what 'fine art'
photography actually is and how it 'transcends' the snapshot pictures
I take ;-)
Any insight would be appreciated

TJ

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Mar 3, 2001, 9:13:47 AM3/3/01
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"Stephen Edgar" wrote:

> I'm intrigued by what 'fine art' photography actually is...<

That's easy. Anything with a nude or partially nude woman.

TJ


Bb6970

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Mar 3, 2001, 9:28:32 AM3/3/01
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>> I'm intrigued by what 'fine art' photography actually is...<
>
>That's easy. Anything with a nude or partially nude woman.
LOL!
Actually, a fine art photographer is someone who manages to make a living
taking pictures that don't include housewares, fashion, babies, pets, news
events or CEO's in annual reports (and anything else I didn't think of).

Andy

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Mar 3, 2001, 9:34:05 AM3/3/01
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If you want to answer that question, simply take the word "photography" out
of it.

What is "fine art" and what separates it from the other creations in it's
category? Haven't you seen paintings or sculptures you though were not so
great, but they were in a museum somewhere?

If you can explain what qualifies ANY type of art work as "art" or "fine
art" then you are on your way to answering your own question.


Andy


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Stephens

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Mar 3, 2001, 10:01:33 AM3/3/01
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In all art, including photography, there is a bit of snobbery.
In the early part of the 20th century, the work of artists who
painted illustrations for commercial ventures was criticized as
being "illustration" rather than "art." The most notable example
was Norman Rockwell. It has only been in recent years that the
art community has begun to appreciate the depth of his art.

To many people, "fine art" means work that is masterfully done,
with careful attention to lighting, technique, etc. That brings
to mind the old masters such as Rembrandt. However, other people
will say that some of the garbage that is alleged to be art is
actually "fine art" (a collage of elephant dung, for example).
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

With respect to photographic fine art, here is what it means to
ME: superb photographic technique, lighting, composition, etc.
Also, there should be an emotional aspect to the photograph. It
should move me in some manner: admiration, love, hate,
compassion, etc. Consider Ansel Adams' photographs of the
American West, for example. Most people upon seeing an original
Adams print will react by saying something such as, "Wow!" "That
is gorgeous." "I don't know why, but I like it."

You will never get a consensus regarding what constitutes "fine
art." Just use your definition and go with it.

In the old days (before computers), there was an old saying about
the typewriting used for a letter: "You should not notice the
typewriting--if you do, something is wrong." The same could be
said for photographic technique in fine art photography. If
superb technique enables you to communicate what you wanted to
communicate, then the communication will succeed. Upon analysis,
the viewer may then notice the technique (as with Ansel Adams),
but that is secondary.

Ken

Tony Spadaro

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Mar 3, 2001, 10:44:09 AM3/3/01
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Fine Art is a degree.
Fine Art Photography is distinguishable from Coarse Art Photography by
the number of pixels or grains in the image. There is also Medium Art
Photography, and SuperFine Art Photography. There once was ExtraCoarse Art
Photography but it was only a fad and dissapeared.

--
Tony (the gimp) Spadaro
http://tspadaro.homestead.com/ArtShow.html
Chapel Hill artist and author of
The Camera-ist's Manifesto
http://home.nc.rr.com/tspadaro/
a Radical approach to photography


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RAS

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Mar 3, 2001, 11:20:02 AM3/3/01
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Exactly! Another way to look at it - fine art is photography which is
sold to museums, rather than not sold or sold to companies or magazines.


"Bb6970" <bb6...@aol.comnospam> wrote in message
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halievski

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Mar 3, 2001, 11:33:00 AM3/3/01
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I like it
You are...a 'bad boy'

Lugh-Clyde

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Mar 3, 2001, 12:14:27 PM3/3/01
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I think you just described "fine craft". Alas, how well art was done doesn't
have anything to do with it's "artistic" message, value, or quality.

Clyde

L

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Mar 3, 2001, 1:16:03 PM3/3/01
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No. I think he described it very well. Technical merit is a tool necessary
for control of your medium, whether it be brush work, chisel work or
whatever other "craft" needed. It transcends craft when it evokes an
emotional response (besides I can't believe they paid that much for this).
He mentions the emotional response as well as technical prowess. Mozart
certainly could not have created his "art" without mastery of his "craft".


Lugh-Clyde <lugh-...@home.com> wrote in message
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Stephen Edgar

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Mar 3, 2001, 1:23:09 PM3/3/01
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On Sat, 03 Mar 2001 14:03:52 GMT, stephe...@ntlworld.com (Stephen
Edgar) wrote:

Thanks for the replies so far! (am we allowed to say thanks anymore on
the group!)
Incidentally, what a cynical newsgroup this is :-)

Richard S. Smith

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Mar 3, 2001, 4:51:40 PM3/3/01
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Actually, there's a very cut-and-dry, technical definition to what
"fine art" photography is. Let's say I managed to take a really good
picture with my 35mm film camera, and I want it blown up to an 8x10 or
maybe even larger. My first challenge is to find a local photo lab
that is able to do this. In most major cities there will be several
to choose from.

So, I go to one, after having carefully put my negative into a holder
of some sort. I go the front counter and talk to a customer service
person, and tell them what kind of print I want. Maybe I want to give
detailed instructions, like, "Please stop this down by one F-stop", or
"Can you please dodge the foreground to bring it out little more?".

If you're lucky the front-counter person will understand what you mean
when you say these things, and perhaps tell you that there's a
slightly higher fee for those services, since, they require an
aesthetic judgement to be made on the part of the printer.

If the person appears not to understand, then I ask them, "Look, is
this a fine-art lab, or do you just do production work?" Now, if they
don't understand *that* question, I need to take my business
elsewhere. So you see the expression "fine-art" has a fairly precise
definition when it comes to the business of photogrphic production.
Maybe I'm being a bit snobbish, but I feel more comfortable handing my
precious negs over to someone who at least *knows* what fine-art work
is.

And, to bring this thread back to the domain of this newsgroup, a
reasonable question to ask might be, "What kind of services should a
good fine-art lab offer to the digital photographer?"

Just my $0.02.

--
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard S. Smith / Email: r...@idiom.com / Web: http://www.idiom.com/~rss
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

DonnyCT

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Mar 3, 2001, 8:45:41 PM3/3/01
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I'm sure there is an actual accepted definition, but it reminds me of my second
wedding. We wanted some music before the ceremony and then during dinner. the
dinner gig was piano.

I found out that the difference between a piano player and a pianist was around
$300.

Peter Bell

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Mar 3, 2001, 9:36:28 PM3/3/01
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Snapshot - means something to you, has little or no emotional impact to a
random viewer.

Editorial - documentation of a newsworthy event.

Commercial - somebody's paying you to show something the way they want it
shown.

Artistic - showing something the way you want it shown, in a way meant to
generate an emotion (other than pure lust) in a typical viewer.

Pornography - meant to generate lust, and no other emotion, in a typical
viewer. In other words, photos of a sexual nature that have no "redeeming"
artistic value.

Fine Art - an Artistic photo that nobody bought.

Thanks,

- Peter

Peter Bell

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Mar 3, 2001, 9:39:10 PM3/3/01
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Or, more in line with my previous definition:

Fine Art - photos of an artistic nature that have no redeeming commercial
value.

Thanks,

- Peter

Lars Clausen

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Mar 3, 2001, 11:14:23 PM3/3/01
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I shall not attempt to define fine art photography, but the best examples
I've seen of it are at www.luminous-landscape.com.

-Lars

--
Lars Clausen (http://shasta.cs.uiuc.edu/~lrclause) | Hårdgrim of Numenor
"I do not agree with a word that you say, but I | Retainer of Sir Kegg
will defend to the death your right to say it." | of Westfield
--Evelyn Beatrice Hall paraphrasing Voltaire | Chaos Berserker of Khorne

Tony

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Mar 4, 2001, 3:58:25 AM3/4/01
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On Sun, 04 Mar 2001 02:39:10 GMT, Peter Bell <pe...@peterbell.com>
wrote:

>Or, more in line with my previous definition:
>
>Fine Art - photos of an artistic nature that have no redeeming commercial
>value.

That one I like!

You do 'lust' a dis-service below. Lust for money, food, a fine
vintage motor-car, a new digital camera... can all be engendered by
good photography (see Commercial and Artistic below) and can be
considered the aim of advertising photography.

:)

Tony.

Wayne Maeda

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Mar 4, 2001, 3:07:59 AM3/4/01
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In article <3aa0f7d4...@news.ntlworld.com>, stephe...@ntlworld.com says...

Anything that you call "fine art" IS "fine art." It's as simple as that.

Wayne

Marcel Cossais

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Mar 4, 2001, 9:09:49 AM3/4/01
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Please TJ... fine art=nude women?
Surely, this must be a troll ;-)

Marcel
___________________________
Marcel Cossais
mcos...@home.com
mcos...@canada.com
http://members.home.net/mcossais/


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Marcel Cossais

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Mar 4, 2001, 9:12:00 AM3/4/01
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Bravo!

Well said.

Marcel
___________________________
Marcel Cossais
mcos...@home.com
mcos...@canada.com
http://members.home.net/mcossais/


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Grant Dixon

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Mar 4, 2001, 12:28:49 PM3/4/01
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As you can tell by now a definition of 'fine art photography' or 'fine art'
or 'art photography' is very complex. Most people have opinions and beliefs
and many will tell you that they know what it is and give a very short
answer. Alas it is a very complex subject and may I recommend, if you are
truly interested, that you read Roland Barthes 'Camera Lucida'. The essay
is only a little more than a 100 pages, requires a lot of thought, but it is
very enlightening. Good luck in you quest.

Grant


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Boyce Endertois

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Mar 4, 2001, 2:13:31 PM3/4/01
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> Stephen Edgar" wrote:
>
> > I'm intrigued by what 'fine art' photography actually is...<

...framed.

Lugh-Clyde

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Mar 4, 2001, 3:22:45 PM3/4/01
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I would hope there is something more to "art" than just the technical
mastering of the tools of the craft. There are a great number of people who
can master the tools, but can't say a thing with them.

Clyde

LLutton

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Mar 5, 2001, 3:04:32 PM3/5/01
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I think "fine art" photography is making a photo that has a special feel to it.
It doesn't look like a postcard or vacation picture but rather, consists of a
special technique like lighting effect, or deliberate soft focus, etc..
Lynn

JustaPawn

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Mar 5, 2001, 4:08:20 PM3/5/01
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I think "fine-art" photography is photography people buy to hang on their
walls.

Mark or Travis

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Mar 5, 2001, 8:27:18 PM3/5/01
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I think "Fine Art" photography is in the "eye" of the beholder.


--
Travis in Shoreline Washington


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