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What Is Fine Art Photography?
Fine Art Photography / Photographic Art / Artistic Photography is not just a photographic skill, but rather it’s an art – like painting. It involves playing with the vision and taking that towards the desired perfection. To put it differently, it strives to represent that vision exactly as the artist conceived in his mind. As a result, it can also be classified as Mind Processed Photography.
Main Ingredients Of Fine Art Photography
According to me, there are six main constituents that turn common photography into Art Photography or Modern Art Photography. These are –
Creative vision, coupled with, an enormous amount of imagination
Visual representation of a thought
A desire or a dream to make that anything presentable
Aesthetic Appeal i.e creation and appreciation of beauty
The emotional impact of that photo art on its viewers
Artistic Expression & Artistic Development
Use Of Creative Retouching In Fine Art Photography
For achieving a matte painting look, sometimes, fine art photography also includes creative retouching. In that case, it is also referred to as Digital Art or Photoshop Manipulation. Many other times, a fine art photographer uses the advanced techniques of retouching to give shape to his dreamlike thoughts. He is required to take help of the digital manipulation techniques to add those ethereal elements and give life to his vision. Therefore, it is also termed as Conceptual Photography as the artist is working on a concept in this genre.
Amount of retouching completely depends on the idea on which the artist is working and his thought-expressing style. There are artists who work on fine art nature photography, where the amount of retouching needed is comparatively negligible. Then, there are artists like myself who are working on their wild fanciful imagination that doesn’t exist in the real world.
To emphasize, let’s say there is an artist whose style revolves around those unrealistic Kafkaesque type of ideas. In no circumstance, he will be able to embody his vision without using some advance retouching skills. For this reason, we can say that sometimes the use of retouching becomes unavoidable in fine art photography.
Future Of Fine Art Photography in India
Even though it has gained popularity in the United States of America (USA) and England (UK) in the 19th century. And even now, it is extremely popular in St. Helena, South Africa, Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia, London in the UK, Leesburg, New York and Los Angeles in the USA, Canada, Netherlands, Philippines, Kuala Lumphur in Malaysia and Bangkok in Thailand. However, India has caught up the trend only recently. More and more Indians, especially in the bigger metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, are getting aware of this form of art. It is important to realize that the popularity of the fine art portraits can be ascribed to its non-commercial, and aesthetic nature. This form of photography is mainly appreciated by the art lovers.
Being a digital matte artist, I have spent more than 6 years in getting my hands on this form of art. As a passionate artist and (if I may add humbly) an internationally published fine art photographer from India, I find Fine Art photography as one of the most beautiful forms of photography to express one’s views and feelings. It is a ‘literature style photography’, that can be a communicative form without words being vocalized. That’s the most important factor that makes it a form of perfect art. It’s the best way by which someone can give life to one’s surrealistic ideas, including dystopian and utopian dreams.
“When a photograph is presented and worked on as art, then a fine art picture is formed.”
How To Differentiate Fine Art Photography From Other Forms Of Photography?
As not everyone knows what makes fine art photography so unique and different from other types, I am jotting down few important points that I can think of, to help people who are viewing my work, understand the differences and appreciate its beauty.
Needs Artistic Vision
In this form of photography, a photo artist wants to convey something with his work that a verbal expression is failing to convey. It requires an artistic photographic vision that has the power of converting a thought into a picture, signs into a language, and a dream into a painting. The vision can be about anything the artist is passionate about – from nature to magic. However, just as flexible art is, a clear idea about how to do that, is sometimes, all that is required.
An art photo is something that evokes an immediate reaction, an emotional impact, and makes a deep mental impression. That’s why, these fine art photography prints find their place in an art gallery or on the walls of some art lover’s home, In that case, it can also be termed as decor photography or photo decor.
About What Artist Sees
It’s not about what is in front of a photographer’s camera or what is captured by his camera. On the other hand, it’s about what the artist is seeing in front of him through that camera. That is what differentiates it from photo-journalism or photojournalistic style of photography as in photojournalism the photographer is documenting or taking pictures of exactly what is existing in front of him, not what is appearing in his artistic mind.
Fine arts photography stands on a totally different side when compared to commercial photography. The sole purpose of an artist making a photography art is to express himself. Again, it’s about what he desires to convey by his fine art prints. Consequently, he has the freedom to choose his subject and style. Unlike a commercial photographer, a fine art photographer’s work reflects his ideas and not his clients’. He creates those pictures without being a part of any contract. He is not doing it for any commercial reasons. All he aims for is that his art will be appreciated for its beauty and his vision, and will create an overwhelming sensation by its strong visual impact.
Camera Is Just Another Tool
Cameras in fine art photography become merely a tool that the artist is going to use to construct his vision. It’s a very common quote in photography, “When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.” A point often overlooked is a simple camera with a simple lens is way more than you will ever need to take a great picture. With years of experience, fine art photographers not only learn to be an expert at handling cameras, but they also learn more about taking photographs with just their eyes and mind. Once you are aware and sure of what you want to capture in a photograph you can even do it with a mobile phone’s Cameras, and the result is going to be amazing.
Form of Expression
When it comes to various styles of photography, Fine Art Photography is one of the most expressive forms. It’s a way used by an artist to personify his shapeless and formless nebula of thoughts. In a similar fashion, other art forms are for their respective creators – a medium to express. There is an interesting artistic statement behind every picture. By the same token, I also find it very similar to the literature. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This quote is something that strengthens its comparison with the literature.
Photography As Art
Other forms of photography have often been debated whether they can be considered as a form of art or not. All the time, the answer was more towards the side of ‘no’ than ‘yes’. But this has never been the case with Fine Art photography as this is a work of creative freedom and artistic experiment of a photographer. ts produced remarkable works and introduced some of the biggest names in arts. As a result, this form is synonymous with art. For the same reason, it is also called as artistic photography or art photography. Fine art pictures are also sold like paintings, and they make perfect home decor or priceless legacy item. Considering these points, we can say that “When a photograph becomes art, then a fine art picture is created.”
Style Of My Fine Art Photography or Contemporary Art Photography
Every fine art photographer has his own unique style that generally defines his work. That’s why it becomes very important to know a photo artist and understand his style first before you try to connect with his work. As a fine art photographer, I like working on mainly three areas – namely Dark Art Photography, Fine Art Nude Photography and Surreal Photography.
Dark Art Photography or Dark Fine Art Photography
A dark art photographer generally captures the gothic or macabre side of fine art, portrait or fashion photography through his camera. These are fantasy pictures. Dark and mysterious in look, that may sail you away from the reality in a dreamlike world. They typically have shadowy ambience and less saturated colours because they present suppressed thoughts. Black and white dark fine art photography is considered more saturated- but metaphorically.
Surreal Photography / Surrealist Photography
These are the pictures that are hallucinatory, unusual and unreal. As they originate not in the world where we live but in a world of dreams and illusions. Such pictures cross the boundary of the real world and take entry into a fantasy world or a surreal world. The scenes captured in the pictures happen in the vivid imagination of the surrealist artist, but hardly find any place in our day to day life. They are the outcome of an artist’s unconscious mind, rather than logical consciousness. All things considered, it’s a way of seeing the world which can not be perceived with our senses. That’s why I also call this type of photography as fantasy photography. I love this form of photography as it lets my imagination go wild and liberates my thoughts.
Fine Art Nude Photography Or Fine Art Nudes or Nude Art
Fine Art Nude Photography has been a topic that has widely dominated the modern art photography. For the same reason, it also dominates my fine art photography style. Sometimes, I even let my three favourite styles of fine art photography coincide so that the final result can emerge into something even more beautiful. Fine Art Nude artist mainly depicts the nude human body but only to show its aesthetic qualities like its form, composition, and emotional aspect. Regardless of the nudity, these pictures are not for any type of eroticism. On the other hand, their sole aim is the representation of the beauty of a human body.
Artist Statement – Neeraj Agnihotri
Suppressed thoughts, repressed emotions, curbed feelings & adrift dreams. My work revolves around all these – something that is left unsaid or unexpressed – because words fail in many situations. It happens so many times where their power of expressing various ordinary things that we observe in our daily life is seriously challenged – like the symphony of the stars, depth of the mountains, evading of a dream, unheard invocations, unexpressed sadness, the blessing of a poetry verse. I can probably write a book on the list.
My Work As A Fine Art Photographer Of India
My work is a mystical combination of consciousness, suffering, dreams, imprisonment of a thought, freedom, spirituality and all the other things that stumble between the lips of a person who has been quiet for decades. Photos that I consider as the reflection of those emotions that people often find hard to verbalize. It includes, to say the least, the feeling of being in complete awe under the dulcet moonlit night of a November, tears of a person who lost a thing and then won the entire world to himself, miracles that were only witnessed by a 5 year old kid, a woman who stopped for a while from her busy life to observe the fluttering leaves of an oak tree and felt liberated and many others.
My Fine Art Pictures Are More Than My Thoughts
It is not always that I give a huge thought to my art, it’s my intuition at work, which is affinity controlled by the unconsciousness of the mind. My fine art photographs are an image of an aura that words cannot express. Once a great Indian poet said that “My thoughts are all comprehensive in my head, but the time they reach the tip of my pen, they are incomplete.” With my art, I make those incomplete things complete, in the best way I can. These art pictures prove either a gateway to escape the reality or are the liberation of acceptance. Sometimes, they often end with a cliffhanger, contradiction or, like I always say, some poetry.
Fine Art Photography Prints For Sale
I offer visually enchanting contemporary art prints that lead to escapism into a world of fantasy. As Rod Serling said in his famous TV Series“ There is a fifth dimension – the dimension of imagination.” That’s the dimension where my art photos try to take my viewers. For the most part, I love exploring the majestic world of art with my various styles of fine art photography. It ranges from Dark Art Photography to Surreal Photography to Fine Art Nudes. These photography prints have the power to catch the attention like they caught yours and set a totally different mood.
All my art pictures, including both coloured fine art prints and black and white fine art prints, are available for sale in various sizes. They are of a premium quality so that you can use them as wall art paintings. In addition to that, I also offer the limited edition fine art prints (collectible art) which come signed and numbered, accompanied with a certificate of authenticity. If you are able to connect with my style and vision of fine art photography and are interested in buying the same, you can contact me.
Fine Art Portrait Photography
It’s a creative portrait photography that works on the similar line of fine art photography. Sometimes it even includes the concepts of fantasy photography or digital manipulation photography. Unlike other portrait photography where the focus remains on the person, fine art portrait photography tries to focus on the visual representation of a thought with the help of that person. These fine art images have a strong base of conceptualism and etherealism. Many times, these images even invite a new perspective of looking the same ordinary thing differently.
The result is mainly dependent on the creative vision of the artist and thus demands a skilled fine art photographer for it. The fine art portraits capture the subject in the vision of the artist, creating timeless and artistic portraits. The resulting pictures form amazing wall art pieces, book covers, home décor and several other things. They can be used for the decoration and for bringing life to your otherwise boring walls. My fine art pictures are more inclined towards fantasy and surrealism. That’s why surrealist portrait photography also forms a part of my fine art portrait style.
Artist Profile - Neeraj Agnihotri
Neeraj Agnihotri is an expert photographer with more than five years of experience in fine art photography who has been published in various international magazines. He loves using various forms of art for self-expression and especially likes exploring the dark side of emotions.