Many artists would suggest that photography does not belong in the art community.
So, what is it really?
You’ve probably heard the term before, but you rarely see a precise definition of what exactly fine art photography is, and also what the difference between a fine art portrait and a regular one.
Truth be told, there isn’t a specific definition of fine art photography since it is all up to the artist, especially their personal style and preferences.
But the thing that makes fine art different from regular art is merely the “meticulousness.”
In a fine art portrait, the artist tries to capture the picture that is in her head, so she does everything possible to set up the scene as she needs it and wants it to look like.
Simply put, fine art strives for perfection via meticulousness, while the other forms of photography strive to deliver the message via perfection, or respectively, the lack of it.
So the next question now is, “how do you do it?”
Below are the 6 easy tips on how to excel in fine art photography:
1. Develop The Skills of “Seeing” Through Things
It’s the first and most important skill that you need to learn.
Surely, there are a lot of wonderful things to photograph, but only some of these will succeed to impress. These are considered by most as fine art. Those that bring “wow” to everyone who sees them.
How to develop this? Set aside 45 minutes from time to time around your home, with your camera and a subject that has your sustained interest. Relax for a few minutes then start taking pictures. Study part of your subject for a moment or two, then re-focus on another part of your subject and study it for a while. Become aware of colors and shapes. See how many details you can find.
By doing this, you will be able to see the beauty behind every setting. And from the beautiful spots you’ve chosen, later, you will be able to pinpoint the best subject.
You can also try photographing the same old subject matter for some time until you become bored and find new angles and create better stories.
Remember, you’re looking for new ideas so look for either image you strongly like or dislike. Then take some time to figure out in each case what makes you feel that way, and how you might go about making more similar-but-improved pictures. Bear in mind, you want to be sensitive, and open, to chance.
Performing this exercise from time to time will keep you out of a rut in your fine art photography and also help you find new ways of seeing and making fine art.
2. Develop Your Imaginative Skills
Making fine art photographs involves the use of free imagination. Enrich your imagination by going to art galleries and studying art in various media and noting your personal responses, the graphic impression, expression, and meaning.
Practice pre-visualizing before going out to take pictures; imagine yourself taking pictures, see the resulting pictures—fantasize photo adventures! Start a train of photo thought just before going to sleep and then sleep on it. In these ways, you can develop your imagination.
3. PRACTICE ISOLATING AND CHOOSING
Making fine art photographs also involves separating the various parts of the subject matter from the whole and looking at a subject and noting:
- what evokes your personal responses
- what constitutes the elements of impression, expression, and meaning.
You can, and should, try to improve in your abilities to isolate by means of practice, and you can practice almost anywhere, anytime.
Choosing also matters. This involves picking out the essential subject matter elements from everything else, in order to bring about the most effective arrangement within the picture. This is possible through camera position, focal length, depth of field, shutter speed, over/right-on/under-exposure, etc.
4. Use the Basics of Making Good Composition
The fine art photographer’s thinking and efforts to visually arrange a picture’s various elements within the camera’s view-finder, according to the principles of visual design to effectively communicate what he sees, feels, and thinks, in connection with the subject matter, doing so simply, freshly, and to as many as possible.
5. Find What Interests You and Apply The Composition Rules
Always watch for things that excite your interest, not just those that you think are beautiful. Look for the wow factor in scenes.
When something excites you, examine it closely and begin verbalizing, “What is it that attracted me?” Visually explore the subject matter and give thought to the subject matter’s impression, expression, and meaning all the while verbalizing to yourself as you do so. Decide on a picture-making approach and a particular picture type.
6. Continuous Practice – Repeat the Steps Until You Think You’re Already A Pro at Making Fine rt Photography
The most important thing you can do with your camera is using it. By shooting a few minutes every day, you’ll develop your skills and abilities as a fine art photographer, and soon have an extensive collection of fine art photographs. Otherwise, you will lose your skills and ability. To have the joy of doing good work, and growing as a fine art photographer, you have to continually make pictures!
Learn from someone who nails it on fine art photography. Colin Smith has won several awards from his fine art photographs with some of his work already featured in international exhibits. Enroll in his photography courses and learn his secrets on how he creates fine art photographs.