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Fine Art Photography Debate

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  • Zuiko
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Originally posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
    Apologies if you took offence, Andy - but I just meant what John's said in the above post.

    But this all leads me onto my next thought: if the greatness of a work of art relies on an individual's reponse to it, and if popularity doesn't necessarily indicate great art, then what, exactly, is being judged in photography competitions that decide on a winner by public vote?
    In this context, simple. What's being judged is contemporary popular taste, which isn't necessarily good art or good photography, but it is art and it is photography. It's more to do with current trends and fashion, which may well result in Fine Art, but often does not. The best test is the test of time.

    John

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Apologies if you took offence, Andy - but I just meant what John's said in the above post.

    But this all leads me onto my next thought: if the greatness of a work of art relies on an individual's reponse to it, and if popularity doesn't necessarily indicate great art, then what, exactly, is being judged in photography competitions that decide on a winner by public vote?

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  • Zuiko
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Originally posted by shenstone View Post
    FYI They included a number of commercially and critically sucessful fine artists.

    Also please in future feel free to take a pop at me, but not others by inference it belittles you and this thread.

    I claim no ability, but have an opinion. You don't like it because it doesn't fall in line with yours then ... tough that's what free speech is about.
    Ermm, maybe I'm wrong but my interpretation of HP's remark was that your artist friends, by the nature of what they do, are themselves in the category of being "educated, cultured and familiar with the world of Fine Art." And yet this did not prevent them from seeing how bad the "Fine Art" was at the gallery in Cardiff, therefore the validity of my first sentence still stands.

    That's how I interpreted it and therefore didn't think it was taking a pop at your friends, in fact quite the reverse.

    However, please feel free to come back at me if you feel I'm still missing the point. And perhaps HP can clarify?

    John

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  • shenstone
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Originally posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
    Presumably, your artist-friends were familiar with the world of art? John's statement still applies?
    FYI They included a number of commercially and critically sucessful fine artists.

    Also please in future feel free to take a pop at me, but not others by inference it belittles you and this thread.

    I claim no ability, but have an opinion. You don't like it because it doesn't fall in line with yours then ... tough that's what free speech is about.

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  • jeremyc
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Sorry if I'm treading ground already covered in this long thread, but...

    Collins Compact Dictionary: "Fine art n 1 art produced chiefly to appeal to the sense of beauty, 2 any of the fields in which such art is produced, such as painting, sculpture and engraving".

    It's a technical, categorising term in art criticism and not to be confused with "good art", "art I like" etc... etc...

    Of course, this leaves open the question of whose "sense of beauty" is concerned. The answer to that question is "the artist's". It is the artist's intent that makes it "fine art", and not all artists produce art "chiefly to appeal to a sense of beauty"; indeed many artists reject fine art as a nostalgic, bourgeois obsession with niceness. It could even be argued that for most serious artists these days, their art is about rejecting notions that art is about beauty. Calling it "fine art" would upset them terrribly!

    So "fine art" in photography does not equal "good" photographs, but photographs produced chiefly to appeal to a sense of beauty.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My spin on defining "Fine Art"

    To me, "Fine Art" is in any medium where there are several things in play...

    1) Technique (1st thing we learn)
    2) Balance (2nd thing we learn)
    3) Emotionally and visually "Pulls" you in to mental thoughts of moral consciousness of life itself... (3rd thing we stive to express after 1 & 2 are mastered)

    (Wow...did I just say that??)

    #3 being the hardest to master...But when you do...You will be a "Master" in photography...Ansel Adams was a master in technical and balance ..but few of his photos had "Great" emotional impact (for me), other than a "Wowing" impact of a great landscape. (btw...I do like Adam's photo's..and consider him a great technical innovator for his time. He contributed much to the photographic knowledge base for sure).

    Great topic btw
    Last edited by arbib; 21st April 2008, 02:07 AM.

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  • Zuiko
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Originally posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
    Also true - that said, I've met plenty of people who think that any - every - picture they've taken that's well-exposed and in focus is briliant. And if there's a smattering of Rule of Thirds methodology in there then so much the better. Not "Emperor's New Clothes" but "I made this" syndrome? Some art is a fake, to be sure, but sometimes the people who are most taken in are the artists themselves.
    Ah, I see where you are comming from, HP. Self delusion is common with artists and particularly photographers. Being able to view your own work objectively and critically is one of the hardest skills to learn.

    With some of my own work I'm not sure if it's any good or, if it is, how good. That's why, in a previous post, I said that the artist himself is probably not entitled to judge whether or not his own work qualifies as fine art, but he is entitled, if he likes what he's done, to feel proud of it. That, of course, doesn't mean it's any good!

    With landscapes I'm probably sufficiently experienced and knowledgeable to know when I've got something good. In fact, I do tend to err on the side of perhaps being a little harsh when judging my own work and sometimes others have been surprised at trannies I've discarded.

    From pictures I've had published I feel entitled to think that a fair bit of my landscape work is very good, maybe even excellent on rare occasions, but it is not exceptional and I stop short of thinking that any of it qualifies as Fine Art. For that to happen I feel I need to get to the next level, and I've been feeling that for many years now! My work may be good but it's reached a plateau and I feel it still needs that little something extra, call it inspiration, to lift it from the competent to the extraordinary. At my time in life I now accept that I will probably never achieve that. The dream is over!

    I think it is important for any of us as photographers to allow ourselves to acknowledge how far we have come, but even more important to recognise how far we still have to go! And more important still, enjoy what we do and leave worrying about whether or not our work is art for others to decide.

    John

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Presumably, your artist-friends were familiar with the world of art? John's statement still applies?

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  • shenstone
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Originally posted by Zuiko View Post
    True, some people are more educated, cultured and familiar with the world of fine art than others. But surely all are entitled to an opinion, if they wish to have one, on what deserves to be classed as fine art.

    Of course, some people's opinions will always be valued more than others due to their recognised expertise in the world of art and they may even become opinion leaders themselves. That doesn't preclude the uninformed art lover from having an opinion or make his opinion less valid. In fact at least his opinion will be honest, even though it may be based on emotion rather than on reasoning, with no danger of it being pretentious or corrupted by "Emperor's Clothes Syndrome."

    John

    In your first sentance lies the problem. Being familiar with the world of fine art does not necesarily make you educated - it can make you too close and too "inbred" to be able to say just how bad that somthing is.

    I recently went to a gallery in Cardiff where I saw some truly awful works for sale at high prices. I doubt that the artist had even been to the places that they were apparently depicting. As it happened I was in the company of some truly exceptional artists, but I felt that they were too nervous about saying what they really felt (well at least until I got some red wine in them later).

    Regards
    Andy

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  • shenstone
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Originally posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
    In here lies the answer

    http://www.artphotogallery.org/02/index.html

    Or does it ?
    Yes and No ...

    IMHO Many WONDERFUL pictures, some ordinary ( even I could have taken and I claim NO artistic abilities at all - I know how to take a technically correct picture ( although I often fail to) and that's about it

    Thanks for the link through there is interest and inspiration there

    Regards
    Andy

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Also true - that said, I've met plenty of people who think that any - every - picture they've taken that's well-exposed and in focus is briliant. And if there's a smattering of Rule of Thirds methodology in there then so much the better. Not "Emperor's New Clothes" but "I made this" syndrome? Some art is a fake, to be sure, but sometimes the people who are most taken in are the artists themselves.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zuiko
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    Originally posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
    But some people's eyes are better than others?
    True, some people are more educated, cultured and familiar with the world of fine art than others. But surely all are entitled to an opinion, if they wish to have one, on what deserves to be classed as fine art.

    Of course, some people's opinions will always be valued more than others due to their recognised expertise in the world of art and they may even become opinion leaders themselves. That doesn't preclude the uninformed art lover from having an opinion or make his opinion less valid. In fact at least his opinion will be honest, even though it may be based on emotion rather than on reasoning, with no danger of it being pretentious or corrupted by "Emperor's Clothes Syndrome."

    John

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  • Graham_of_Rainham
    replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    In here lies the answer

    http://www.artphotogallery.org/02/index.html

    Or does it ?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    But some people's eyes are better than others?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Fine Art Photography Debate

    I'll go along with that Zuiko, well summed up.

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