Fine Art is just good photography


I asked the question in one of my latest vlogs (click here to watch) , what is Fine Art? It was one of those questions that is often avoided as can involve the writer to get into a corner which so often they find difficult to get out of. I have a simple approach in life. I believe the answer is easy, with the help of those who answered my question of course.

A good photograph evokes an emotion and you will often see me write the same words. When I want someone to look at my photography, I want them to feel a slight detachment from reality. Reality is a scene not photographed in the sense of the art but as a record. This is often referred to as a snap shot. The image below was taken during my last photography/hiking session in the Grisedale valley, The Lake District. This image was not reality, the world was not in black and white;

Grisedale Tarn pano

What is real however are the low lying clouds which create atmosphere, a feeling, an emotion. That emotion being solitude, tranquility, peaceful. Imagine the scene at mid day in bright sunshine with no clouds. What emotion would that bring?

Without the emotive conditions, we can create a scene into something that we want to make to show whatever feeling we like. This is limited to the skills of the landscape photographer due to the ability to see a composition but even when beginning the photography journey, learning how to use filters is a quick remedy. Neutral Density filters, in particular 10 or 15 stops can change a normal scene in something magical and eerie. This is Fine Art as the viewer has been detached from reality for that moment.

A good landscape photographer will produce work that can grab the viewers attention and relive that thoughtful moment whether it be momentary and stir an intended emotion. By labeling a photograph as Fine Art then, does that mean that that photograph is a good photograph and really there are 2 genres of landscape photography, Fine Art or a snap shot? I’d prefer my portfolio labeled Fine Art.

2 thoughts on “Fine Art is just good photography

  1. I think in photography there is a linear scale with snapshots at one end and fine art at the other. I would never consider myself a fine art photographer but I hope that my work is better than just snapshots.


    1. It is all photography. Some do to document, some do to enjoy and share their interpretation and vision. Believe me Chris, you are much more than a snapper


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