Fine-Art Photography: Documenting and Making Change

Fine-Art Photography: Documenting and Making Change

August 2, 2018 Off By Gancio Cielo
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In the blink of an eye, in just a fraction of a second, the exact moment awaits. They call it the “perfect shot”, and photographers spend their whole lives trying to capture it. Photography as an art has been debated since photography was invented in the 1830’s by collaborating with scientists and artists.



Flashes of Artistic Expression Developed Over Time

The use of photography as an artistic medium is subject to the intent of the photographer. Photographs capture a moment in time and preserve it for later use. Fine-art photography takes that frozen moment and uses it to say something; the photo’s subject expresses the artist’s ideas or feelings. Whatever the photographer focuses their shot on, the picture conveys something that words alone could not adequately express. Timing, lighting, subject, and intent are all key elements of fine-art photography.

Fine-Art Photography is a Powerful Medium

Anyone can take a picture, and thanks to the latest technologies, pictures can take themselves with automatic timers and motion activated cameras. What makes a picture “art” is a question that has no easy answers, but generally speaking, the photographer’s intent and choice of subject is the deciding factor between a nice photo and one that moves the souls of those who view it.

Photographers Who Changed our World View

Some pictures capture the world and its inhabitants in such a way as to become iconic. American photojournalist Steve McMurray holds a place in photographic history for his shot entitled “Afghan Girl” which appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in June of 1985. The striking intensity of her blue eyes, deep red scarf, and dark brown hair framing the girl’s smudged face brought the turmoil in the Middle East into startling clarity for Westerners.

Ansel Adams, an environmentalist and landscape photographer, spent his life preserving the United State’s natural resources on film. His black and white pictures of national parks and other geographic areas were influential enough to warrant their own museum of his work. Ranging from his amateur years to his death, and all the miles of American frontier between, this pioneer of landscape photography also earned a place in the National Archives.



Fine-Art Photography Influences Many Aspects of Life

Photography is not exclusive as an art form to men, and many notable women have left their mark on the photographic landscape over the last two centuries. A few female photogs that have strongly influenced fine-art photography are Lalla Essaydi, Anna Morosini, and Sarah Maple. Each of these ladies has cast her own unique style and point of view upon the subjects they photograph.

Themes commonly found in fine-art photography are the human experience, nature, wildlife, and technology and mechanical apparatuses. The subjects and themes depicted in photographic artistry are always carefully selected by the artist to express their points of view, ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

Caught on Film, Saved for Posterity

Fine-art photography has been the catalyst for great social change, and it also documents those same changes. Photography preserves history for the future.