Mastering Fine Art Photography

by guest writer Dhaval Patel

Fine art photography is one of the most elegant and exciting genres in the field of photography. Here’s how to get started.


mastering fine art photography


Fine art photography may be defined in different ways by individual photographers. Overall, what makes it distinct from other forms of photography is the message it conveys. The camera is used as a tool to express the vision of the artist rather than simply to document the subject of the photograph.

The elements of each photo are chosen carefully to bring that vision to life, to make an artistic statement. The purpose of the photographer may be to evoke an emotion in the viewer. It might suggest an idea, or influence their perception and behavior. Quite often, the effect is not one of capturing beauty, but of provoking a response or leaving it to the observer to interpret the meaning.

A fine art photograph may be essentially different from the object before the camera, as it is manipulated, adjusted, overlaid or combined with other images. Each step in this process is usually careful and deliberate to control the aesthetic, but the creator may rely on serendipity as well.

What is Your Vision?

If you are interested in exploring fine art photography, plan and prepare ahead. Note the ideas you have in mind. What is the purpose and concept behind your work? Consider the message you want to convey, or the emotions you want to awaken. Then, choose subject matter that best represents your interest. Some popular subjects are still lifes, architecture, nudes, landscapes and abstracts. Nature is a endless source of inspiration for many fine art photographers, and will never grow old. The main focus is to capture the truth as the artist sees it and share their vision with the world.

Mastering the technical aspect of creating fine art photography is essential to getting the best results. You must select the right tools to fulfill your purpose. There is no list of perfect equipment, because there are so many possibilities. Large format cameras, DSLRs, special lenses and other gear may fit the bill to express your ideas as an artist. When you select equipment you need to do your best work, make a point to learn all the features and techniques available. Join in with some photography workshops if necessary, so that way you can learn a lot of things in a quicker and more comprehensive way. Familiarize yourself with post-production and editing process, so you can perfect each image.

Example categories of Fine Art Photography include:

Wedding Photography. This is a specialty in fine art photography. It focuses on activities that range from the engagement through the wedding proper, in a way that goes beyond documenting an event. The goal of the photographer is not to provide just a portrait. The fine art photographer shares a sense of the joy and commitment of wedding rituals, by capturing photographs that will function as treasured heirlooms.

Photographing the Sky. Sky photography can be one of the most exciting and satisfying genres, especially during a night when the stars are all visible. It is both thrilling and heartwarming to be able to capture celestial beauty. This type of photography is especially appealing when you are in a remote area far from the artificial lights of cities. Northern Lights Photography provides helpful tips for photographers looking to explore this.

Wildlife Photography. The focus of wildlife photography is the documentation of wildlife while they roam through their natural habitat. This type of photography requires a great deal of patience, and even special gear. Telephoto lenses, camouflage clothing, tripods, memory cards and rain covers are typically required for photographers out in nature looking for that perfect shot. Start locally, taking photographs of species in your area before planning that exotic trip to Africa. Be prepared to spend lots of time outdoors. Respect wildlife and its habitat as a guest, and leave the environment unharmed as your perfect your craft.

The Bottom Line

Photography is a common trend. With all the smartphones available, many people feel they are photographers by virtue of this fact. If you want your work to stand out from the crowd, don’t forget this elemental truth: In order to create photography that is “fine art” quality, you must have something to say beyond simply presenting an image. Your experience and intention makes all the difference. When the viewer is moved and influenced by a masterful photograph that goes far beyond the process itself, you have succeeded.


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