What Is Fine Art PhtographyArt is the primary method through which an individual attempts to share their view of the world around them with others. Art has existed for hundreds of thousands of years and has taken many forms over the centuries. The earliest humans attempted to preserve knowledge and culture through crude sculptures and drawings, many of which can be seen in museums and archaeological sites to this day. Greek and Roman culture fostered an explosion of art through sculpture and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance gave us famous works such as Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Michelangelo’s “David”. Photography is the result of scientific achievement, originally a combination of mechanical design and chemical reaction to light. Today’s cameras do without the chemical reaction, instead of allowing digital processing of light which leads to high-quality images. Some have reasoned that simply capturing a scene and printing it for others is not a form of art. But recall the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. What better way to see the beauty through another’s eyes than through photography? John Steinbeck addressed the issue well when he said “The camera need not be a cold mechanical device. Like the pen, it is as good as the man who uses it. It can be the extension of the mind and heart” Fine art photography is the result of individuals taking those words to heart, and using cameras as a tool to capture the beauty they see in the world and expressing their thoughts and feelings in the resulting work. Ansel Adams produced some of the world’s first renowned fine art photography in the early 1900s, creating landscape photography that is recognized as vital to America’s art history today and featured in several famous photo galleries. Ansel was also a pioneer in methods that, for the first time, allowed photographers to impose their vision upon a photograph, rather than simply recording the world as it exists. Even in those long-past years, Ansel knew that the future of fine art photography was bright. When asked about his feelings about photography and his efforts to transfer his vision and emotion into his work, he famously stated: “We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium”. Today’s technology has enabled a new generation of fine art photographers who are able to put more of themselves into their work than ever before. They use equipment ranging from smartphones to high-end professional cameras to capture photographs with a greater visual fidelity than ever. Technology has allowed fine art photographers to truly use their work as an extension of the mind and heart in ways that were impossible back when Adams was taking his famous photos at Yellowstone National Park. Software such as Silkypix and Photoshop allow fine art photographers to manipulate their images, adding an unmistakable visual impression that defines each piece as a unique work of fine art. Today’s art world agrees that photography is not just art but in many cases a fine art that is completely unique from any other visual medium. The ability to combine a pixel-perfect reproduction of a real-world scene with visual modifications that give the final piece a true emotional weight has led to some of the most beautiful and emotionally striking visual art ever seen. Fine art photography is a fast growing medium, and pieces by top artists are now featured in fine art photography galleries, museums, and mixed art galleries around the world.
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