What is Fine Art Photography
The dictionary definition for fine art states: “creative art, esp. visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.” The term involves a variety of disciplines, including painting, drawing, sculpting, dance, theatre, and printmaking, among others. The concept of fine art traditionally involves certain formal aspects that must be respected, but mostly it refers to a creation that expresses emotion and inspires beauty, appealing to the senses and enlightening the spirit. These were the biggest challenges photography faced in its process of being considered a fine art discipline.
Origin of photography in the arts
Similar to the impact the printing press had on the distribution of literature, photography, since its origin, generated a revolution in the art world. The unpredictable consequences photography brought to art, and society in general, can be compared to how, although the printing press was thought mainly for facilitating the reproduction of bibles and manuscripts, the impact it had in the distribution of ideas across social classes and borders could not have been anticipated. Photography has changed the way we perceive the world. Modern history has been redefined thanks to photojournalism alone; a single image has had a bigger impact in describing an event than the amount of words used to describe it. In terms of art, the world of painting was hugely revolutionized, with the dual effect of forcing the medium to move in new directions as well as providing it with new tools.
The question whether photography should be considered art or not was an ongoing debate in the decades following its discovery. It reflected a search for ways to fit a mechanical medium into the traditional expressive artistic forms. Several approaches were taken to this end, while some by means of a camera emulated the subjects and styles of traditional “high” art; others used it to benefit their observation and as a source of new ideas and information. The reproduction of art objects was also a key development in the use of photography; it had a profound effect on changing the visual culture of society and making art accessible to the general public, changing its perception, notion and knowledge of art, and appreciation of beauty. Moreover, it made possible to establish art history as a serious discipline.
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