Wednesday, December 9, 2020

What is Fine Art Photography

 Many ask, "What is the difference between a picture or snapshot and Fine Art Photography?"

That is a great question, the main goal of fine art photography is to express a message, maybe an emotion, or even an idea. 

Image of Mt Rainer showing my fine art photography
When I travel around looking for the images I take for landscape photography to use as fine art on my website I am always looking for the image I have not seen before. What is the landscape saying to me, what story can I tell with the image?  When I see what I am looking for it takes great care to make sure you have the right lighting and to make sure you frame or stage the image that creates the WOW factor.

 Many times I will see a potential image but the light is wrong, there are people in the image, it is raining, or worse. I cannot count the number of times where I made numerous trips to one spot looking for the shot I want. Heck, I've been known to hike into a remote area, set up camp, and spend up to a week in one spot waiting for the perfect shot. Even then, I may not get the shot.

When I am shooting wildlife or birds, the action is many times very fast.  Everyone has pictures of Eagles but, what can I capture that is different.  How do I make sure and capture an image that is truly fine art? Many times you have just an instant to capture the image such as this Hooded Merganser trying to eat a Frog and you are walking with a camera with a long lens mounted on a tripod. My birding camera setup weighs in at almost 30lbs so it takes practice to be able to get fast opportunities that most miss.

Just getting an image is just the start, in post-processing you need to be very careful that your image is absolutely color correct, the focus is dead on, the image is properly cropped, and most important the image has the right resolution so that a 30X45 print is not pixelated making the image look horrible.

To me, it is not "how many times I click my shutter" it's "when is it the right time to click".  Professional fine art photography is not easy as you spend many hours on the road, hiking trails, enduring harsh environments, and yes the occasional fall down a hillside or twisted ankle.

When it is all said and done Fine Art Photography is not an easy job, equipment is expensive, getting prints that are Fine Art quality can be a challenge, everything wears out or gets damaged and has to be replaced.

Fact is, when it is all said and done, when you add up the costs versus what you get for a print I am positive there is very little if any profit but I love what I do and hope that those who spend time on my new website appreciate the time/dedication it takes.


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