I follow a number of landscape photographers on YouTube. I’ve noticed a trend in the way they are using the words “fine-art”. They usually use it to describe a particular type of image:

  • Black and white.
  • Minimalist composition: i.e. usually a single subject, often situated in water.
  • Still water made smooth with a long exposure.

Something like the above, but not quite. The above image is one of mine and I don’t do that kind of photography. This is probably the closest I come. Maybe a better illustration would the work of Theodore Kefalopoulos. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticizing this type of work. When done well I rather like some of it.

Rather I feel that labeling this type of photography as “fine art” is too limiting. Surely “fine art” photography is broader that this. Wikipedia provides the following definition, which I prefer even though I don’t altogether agree with it (why, for example can photojournalism not be considered “fine art”):

Fine-art photography is photography created in line with the vision of the photographer as artist, using photography as a medium for creative expression. The goal of fine-art photography is to express an idea, a message, or an emotion. This stands in contrast to representational photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects and events, literally representing objective reality rather than the subjective intent of the photographer; and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products, or services.

Clearly I’ll have to think about this some more. I’m not sure that I fully understand what “fine art” photography is, but I think I know what it’s not: it’s not limited to black and white; minimalist; long exposure seascapes.

Taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XF 10-24mm f4

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