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Fine Art Photography

Photographs can change your mood and suggest a particular feeling. How much you are moved by a photograph will tell a lot, not about the photo, but also about the photographer. Fine art photography is a form of photography that brings out the creative abilities and subjective expression of a photographer and puts it on a picture. Fine art is different from photos taken for advertisements and journalism. Advertisements present a product aesthetically in order to sell it, and photojournalism uses photos of real life events to back up a story. Although fine art may often go beyond reality, it uses real subjects and portrays a real world, but often points towards a deeper meaning. Fine art has evolved over the years from totally abstract pictures to real world subjects portrayed in an artistic manner. Just as a painter’s imagination is brought out on canvas, similarly a photographer’s creativity is brought out on a photograph.

Fine art photography has its roots back in the 19th century and since then has evolved into various categories such as portrait, landscape and nude photography.  Later many categories such as architecture, wedding photography, black and white photography, abstract photography, macro photography and glamour photography got included in fine art.  In fact, almost all forms of photography are being refined and included in fine art photography, wedding photography and glamour photography being the recent additions.  A taste for art and a quest for artistic ability gave rise to exhibitions. The earlier exhibition norm of canvas paintings soon changed and got replaced by framed photos. Nowadays fine art is going commercial and is fetching handsome sums from those with an eye for detail.

If you want to be a fine art photographer, the first thing you need to do is take good pictures. Secondly, you must arrange for proper exposure at an art gallery in order to display your photos.

Using your digital SLR you have always shot portraits or landscapes, but in fine art photography you must portray depth which goes beyond what is actually seen. Unless you have a passion, it will not be seen in your photographs. How impressive your photos are, will depend on how your audience will feel. So you have to add a subjective element.

The following three tips will guide you to add class to your fine art photos:

Avoid centering the subject: If you see most traditional photos, the subject is often centered. Look at some old photo album, and you will know what I mean. This not only makes the photos appear repetitive, it also shows lack of creativity. When you shoot fine art, learn not to center your subject, but rather use the “rule of thirds” whereby you place you subject at the intersection of four lines that divide your viewfinder into thirds. So there are four strategic points on your viewfinder where you will place your subject. Photos shot using the ‘rule of thirds’ are more pleasing to the eye. Research has shown that the human eye does not look at the center but rather focuses on these points.

Move away from tradition: If you plan to shoot wedding fine art photos or portrait photos, refrain from just capturing faces smiling at the camera. Although smiling faces cannot be avoided, take some shots as you close in on the bride’s bouquet, hair accessories, clothing textures, the crown, the veil, and the options are vast. In portrait photography, try a variation from the traditional head to shoulder shots. At times you can omit the subject’s face and only capture his hands on the guitar. Although a beautiful lady makes a good subject, capturing just her lips sipping from a wine glass will add style and attitude to your picture.

Go black and white: Most photographers prefer black and white photography for various reasons. One reason is that not every film or photographer can bring out natural colors in a picture. Another reason is that colors may interfere with a person’s perception. Omission of color helps you to focus more on the texture and patterns. Most nude photographers use black and white in combination with light and shade variations in order to highlight the body contours and skin texture.

Once you learn to take good fine art photos, your aim, like most fine art photographers, may be to get your pictures into an exhibition. Prepare your portfolio and photo gallery using 10 to 15 of your best photographs arranged systematically and in an easily viewable format. Remember, that your photos are a piece of your personality. So, more than your photographs, an art gallery owner will be interested in you. In modern times, the internet can serve as the biggest art gallery. So have your website up and running, and display your artistic gallery.

August 14, 2015

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