Artistic Photography

It was during the twentieth century, that the medium of photography was beginning to get accepted in the world of art and artistic expressions. The fine art photography was accepted by the gallery system and the art world. On this page you will learn about artistic photography and what is the component of a photograph that makes it truly appealing and beautiful to the viewer. Read on.

In the US, a few photographers, like John Szarkowski, Alfred Stieglitz, F. Holland Day, Edward Steichen and Edward Weston, spent a great part of their lives promoting artistic photography. They looked at photography as a fine art and used various photography techniques. Initially, these artistic photographers tried to emulate painting styles. This movement came to be known as Pictorialism. The photography technique used here was to get a dreamy, 'romantic' look by using a soft focus. Another group of art photographers like Ansel Adams, Weston and others formed the Group f/64 to back 'straight photography'. Here, the artistic photographs were not an imitation of something but sharply focused with their own individuality.

The art world believes that the subject of artistic photography continues to be discussed even today and is constantly evolving. In the artistic circles, many artistic photographers debate that as photography is the mechanical reproduction of an image, if it has to be portrayed as a piece of art, then there is a necessity to redefine it. It has to be determined that what element of a photograph makes it look like a piece of art in the eyes of the viewer. Some of the very early artistic photographers were Louis Daguerre, Nicéphore Niépce and others. Although their work and photography techniques were much acclaimed, but many questioned if their artistic nature photography met the definitions and purposes of art.

The world of art believes that there must be one quality of excellence without which a piece of art cannot exist. But what is this quality that must be shared by all objects to incite our aesthetic emotions? Do the Sta. Sophia and the windows at Chartres, Chinese carpets, Mexican sculpture, Giotto's frescoes at Padua, a Persian bowl, and the masterpieces of Poussin posses this excellence? Well, there can be only one possible answer to that –a significant form. In all of these, the colors and combine in such a way, that they are successful in rousing our aesthetic emotions.

Sotheby’s London, on February 14, 2006 sold the 2001 photograph "99 Cent II Diptychon" for a record $3,346,456 to an unnamed bidder, thus making it the most costly of all time. This shows that the value of artistic photography is recognized and admired by many. Turning a concept or idea into a photograph is what Art photography is. Although these artistic photographs depict real objects, the subject they portray is strictly abstract.


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