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Fine art brings to mind masters like Leonardo de Vinci. Rembrandt, or Frida Kahlo. Most consider painting and sculpture to fall under the fine arts. But what about photography? Is a photo the same as a painting?

There’s a rising tide of artists are following in the footsteps of Man Ray and Ansel Adams. They are embracing fine art photography. This post will give you a small glimpse into this creative world.

What is Fine Art?

By tradition, fine art is an art that is developed for the enjoyment of beauty or aesthetics. There were five main types. These are architecture, music, and painting. Poetry and sculptures round the list off. But later over time this list was then expanded to also include the performing arts and photography.

What is Fine Art Photography?

Fine art photography is the use of photography as an artistic medium. It’s an intentional choice by the artist to use the camera to capture their conceptual idea. The goal of fine-art photography is to express a message, an idea or even an emotion.This is what sets this type of photography apart from snapping images on a camera.

This is also known as artistic photography. You might also hear it called photographic art. It’s different from commercial photography or photojournalism. The former is always created with a specific purpose. It’s done to showcase a product to help generate sales. Photojournalism is about capturing the truth. Its goal is to document a scene or subject matter as it is. The photo must have minimal bias.

Types of Fine Art Photography

An artist can use fine art photography to communicate or explore an idea. Like painting, these ideas can become expressed through still life or landscapes. You can also use photography to create abstract art and portraits.

Landscape photography is one of the most popular types of fine art photography. The artist conveys the truth behind a scene. Many landscape photographers have captured the beauty of the outdoors and nature. Some have even helped highlight environmental causes through their work.

Portraiture is another type of fine art photography. But not all portraits can become an art. There’s a wide divide between a headshot and a classic portrait photo. Headshots are often done for commercial purposes. Portrait photography created with the intention to communicate an idea becomes fine art. The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe excelled at this. He understood that portrait photography can show the human condition.

Still-life photography has the same vision as its painted counterpart. Both seek to show quiet truths about the world. Many would look at still-life photos and consider them product photography. Still-life photos often go down this road. But it can become unique or whimsical with the right approach.

There’s a depth to photography most don’t understand. People passionate about taking aesthetic photos can use these images. They can convey their vision. You don’t even need to be a professional photographer to take fine art photos. You only need to think outside the box.