Since opening my shop on Etsy, I belong to a group or team of female photographers (fPOE) sharing their knowledge, ideas and encouragement with each other. One of my colleagues, Angie Turner of LaughterAndLovePhotography, had the (excellent!) idea to bring a Fine Art Friday into being for our group. Every participating member is challenged to contribute one newly edited fine art photo to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, fine art photographyit and post it on our page(s) on facebook and/or on our blog each Friday. Last week, while still being on vacation, I participated with the lighthouse picture shown to the right. This week before posting a new picture I was curious and wanted to find out about ‘fine art photography’.

You have probably heard and read the expression very often, Fine Art Photography, and so have I. At times it felt pretty worn out. Since I have opened my shop on Etsy I have come across it a gazillion times. Many of those times I have asked myself: Is this ‘fine art’? Or what is ‘fine art photography’? It seemed to me that fine art is an expression that everybody uses to his or her own discretion. To me it always meant old(er) masterpieces of paintings, sculpture, music or poetry. Which is not totally wrong, but also not completely right. I found out, because I checked on wikipedia. Here are two excerpts – for fine art(s) and fine art photography (the full articles are linked, so check them out):

Fine art or the fine arts, from the 17th century on, denote art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept, distinguishing them from applied arts that also have to serve some practical function. Historically, the five greater fine arts were painting, sculpture, architecture, music and poetry, with minor arts including drama and dancing. Today, the fine arts commonly include the visual art and performing art forms, such as painting, sculpture, collage, decollage, assemblage, installation, calligraphy, music, dance, theatre, architecture, film, photography, conceptual art, and printmaking. However, in some institutes of learning or in museums fine art, and frequently the term fine arts (pl.) as well, are associated exclusively with visual art forms.

Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, which provides a visual account for news events, and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

sundown, hatteras, lighthouse beach, clouds, photographyHaving read this, I will now show you the difference between a documentary photo and a fine art photo. On the right you see the photo of a sundown with clouds over the ocean. Pretty, but somewhat unimpressive. Below, with my editing it comes a lot closer to the way I felt when I saw those big puffy clouds being lit up by the setting sun. My impression was that they were on fire. Which was even reflecting on the ocean. It was so magnificent. And this magic that I saw and felt gets lost in the documentary photo on the right. You probably noticed that I used  a lot of ‘I’ and ‘my’ in this paragraph?! Well, because it is my creative vision that is expressed through my fine art photography. And my fine art enhanced photo is now available for  purchase in my shop.

I hope you liked this little excursion and will check back in on Fridays or any other day of the week for that matter. Have a great weekend! And, by the way, I was featured on our fPOE team’s blog today with one of my calla pics, have a look!

sundown, hatteras, lighthouse beach, clouds, fine art photography

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self portrait, Claudia Willison, ImagesByCW

Claudia is founder, owner and soul of ImagesByCW Photography. Born in Germany, traveled though Europe and Australia, she currently lives with her American husband in New Jersey, USA. She blogs about what she loves: Photography, art, internet and computers in general, as well as cooking and windsurfing. When not working she enjoys reading, music, windsurfing and listening to the sound of waves and the wind, preferably together with her husband.

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