Fine Art Photography Blog

What is Fine Art Photography?

Photography as art and what it means to me.
Link to photo from my Manchester gallery

What is Fine Art Photography?

I would imagine that many landscape photographers feel the same as I do when they are lucky enough to be in a great location with wonderful light......when I'm in a situation like that with my camera, I'm concentrating so hard on the subject of the photos and on the light that everything happens without conscious thought.

Over the coming months however, I've rashly agreed to do a series of 2 hour slideshow talks about my photography to local camera clubs in the north west of England and north Wales.

As a result I thought I better put some thoughts down on paper so that I've got at least a few words to go along with the many photos that I'll be showing.

Usually, when I'm photographing, I get 'lost' in the moment and the images almost seem to take themselves, but as a result of these coming talks and the further thought I've given the subject I thought I'd list some of the aspects of fine art photography that give me the most personal enjoyment:

Beauty can mean many things to different people but as a fine art landscape photographer I'm interested in photographing the natural beauty and visual drama of our urban and rural environment.

The way I try and emphasise beauty and drama in my photos is by by finding great subjects and light and by keeping the composition of my photos as simple and direct as possible.

Our modern society is so complex and fast moving that I find this simplicity and directness to be a real pleasure in itself and it's something that I actively look for when I'm composing my photos in the camera viewfinder.

Mood and expression is important to me in my photos however my personal preference is for that of suggestion rather than prescription.

The most captivating fine art photography in my opinion is like poetry where an elegant economy of words is used to suggest deeper meaning.

Manchester Ship Canal in Winter
Manchester Ship Canal in Winter

geese on the water
a misty dawn
seagull flying high

Great Light
Photography is about the interplay between light and dark. Great light makes for wonderful and truly memorable fine art photos.

The strength of photography as an art form and the thing which makes it different from other forms of art is that it is fundamentally connected with reality.

I'm by no means an anti-photoshop zealot but I do believe that fine art photography should represent the basic truth and reality of the scene being photographed.

For me, the best fine art photography is all about one person's individual vision and how they perceive the world in which they live.

So there we have it it - the 5 things which I value in my approach to my fine art photography:
beauty, simplicity, great light, truth and individuality.

Written out like that it sounds like a tall order to try and satisfy them all but at least it's a target to work toward and the best targets in life usually seem difficult to achieve. Often the journey toward a difficult goal is more rewarding than the arrival!

I hope you've enjoyed this article about fine art photography. If have any comments or queries please send me a note using the form at the bottom of the page.

Ian Bramham
19th September 2012.