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;
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.