After a discussion with a fellow flickrite some weeks ago, I've been thinking on and off about what makes a photograph 'fine art'. And it has not been an easy task. So far, my thoughts are gravitating towards the idea that if it has the following three things it's well on it's way, in NO order of importance.
- It [the photograph] operates at a Cerebral level
- It [the photograph] operates on an Emotional level
- It [the photograph] operates on a Spiritual level
As an object some level of 'presence' helps too, be it size or subtle nuances or perhaps totally in your face in some way.
If these traits can be combined to subtly form a cohesive set of the above ideas then it's well on it's way as well.
A thorough understanding and ability to manipulate the process to suit your intentions, whatever they are, is in my opinion an integral and equally important part of 'fine art photography'. Appreciating and understanding the history of ideas surrounding photography helps to place yourself within the broader context of the medium. This in turn helps you stand out from the crowd and be seen to have something different to offer. After all there a millions of photographs being produced in the western world at an outstanding rate now with digital technologies something needs to somehow give an image a universal yet unique appeal to make it "special".
Hiding your light under your own Bushel is not a good idea if you want to be found, so a healthy dose of marketing and promotion helps for you to be found as well.