Marb

Fine Art photography

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I am very interested in the more fine Art creative photography for it's own sake. The kind of images you see in the BJP, Creative review and exhibitions etc. In an ideal world I would love to make a living from this kind of work (I did a workshop with BW landscape photographer John Davies when I was a photo student in the mid 80's.) but have lost touch with this due to making stock images. Has anyone here got a similar background, interest other than the "bread and butter" stock images ? Do these kind of images do well at Alamy ? 

Edited by Marb

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In the 1940 images I have sold since being on Alamy, there are probably a dozen that I would consider Art, ie that I would hang on my wall. Alamy really is mainly editorial.

Put them up anyway if you have them on your drive, but I wouldn't get into producing fine art just for Alamy.

Edited by Colin Woods
Added text

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I risk killing this thread stone dead, but would someone care to define 'Fine Art Photography'? I recently saw an Instagram post of a dreadfully dull silhouette of some trees that had been converted to black and white. This, according to the photographer's comment, made it 'fine art'. An extreme example, but one thing is for sure - calling something fine art doesn't make it fine art, which implies there are criteria even if it's debatable at the margins.

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Sure, go and have a look around the photo section of Tate Modern for some unbelievable stuff dressed up as fine art. Stuff that most photographers would delete without a second look. My definition is banal but it works for me - would I give it house space.

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11 hours ago, Marb said:

I am very interested in the more fine Art creative photography for it's own sake. The kind of images you see in the BJP, Creative review and exhibitions etc. In an ideal world I would love to make a living from this kind of work (I did a workshop with BW landscape photographer John Davies when I was a photo student in the mid 80's.) but have lost touch with this due to making stock images. Has anyone here got a similar background, interest other than the "bread and butter" stock images ? Do these kind of images do well at Alamy ? 

Yes.

No.

 

wim

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My doctor has warned me to avoid fine art photography, free-form poetry, and action painting. :ph34r:

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Every now and then I dip into the winners' galleries that pop up online for prestigious competitions like the Taylor-Wessing portrait prize. Some of the photos are lovely to look at in fairness, while others look like better exposed examples of a B&Q employee of the month mug shot. I've reconciled myself to the fact that I simply don't get it.

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I had this image of St Martin's Church and the Bullring in Birmingham, licensed on here a few months ago for an attractive price. I suppose it would fall under the "fine art" category.

 

Black and white Selfridges St Martins Church Birmingham Bullring Stock Photo

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Fine art is anything with a frame around it.

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11 minutes ago, Wawa said:

Fine art is anything with a frame around it.

Yes, that's pretty much what the OP means I think. They ask if anyone has a background in this, actually it's my foreground, as 90% of my income comes from selling original prints of my work through galleries and direct. Very specialist market at the high end. I'm absolutely not talking about POD sites churning out inkjet prints of sunsets. I make archival, selenium toned silver/gelatin prints of my past and current B&W work and chromogenic, Fuji crystal archive prints from my colour work. I also make and sell platinum prints. I'm sure you understand that I can't discuss prices here but they are of a very, very different order from average stock and POD sites. I mean higher of course, much. You need to be with a reputable gallery with a reputation with collectors who are very knowledgeable and discerning. You also have to have both past and current work that has a national or international reputation. 

 

Try looking at the 'AIPAD', (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) website. These are galleries that all belong to the very reputable body that sets standards for the high end galleries. 

 

Hope that's a help.

Pete Davis

http://www.pete-davis-photography.com

http://peteslandscape.blogspot.co.uk/

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Posted (edited)
On 09/02/2018 at 19:30, British Gent said:

I risk killing this thread stone dead, but would someone care to define 'Fine Art Photography'? I recently saw an Instagram post of a dreadfully dull silhouette of some trees that had been converted to black and white. This, according to the photographer's comment, made it 'fine art'. An extreme example, but one thing is for sure - calling something fine art doesn't make it fine art, which implies there are criteria even if it's debatable at the margins.

 

The artist Marcel Duchamp would disagree. He said something along the lines of "if the artist says it is art, then it is".

 

He also said: "You cannot define electricity. The same can be said of art. It is a kind of inner current in a human being, or something which needs no definition."

 

Actually as a physicist (my degree, not career) I would completely disagree with that first sentence, electricity can be defined, and very precisely.

 

Actually I would probably align myself with Duchamp's rejection of work of purely "retinal pleasure" as not being art. Most so-called art is decor and purely about retinal pleasure, or tactile pleasure in the case of sculpture, it says nothing about the human condition, unlike the best art.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
typo

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I have to confess that I gave up making the weekly trip to a local camera club some years ago, mainly because of (what I perceived to be) the poor quality of the judging. Yes, judging. Like a lot of the camera clubs that thrive in South Wales, photography is seen as something of a competitive sport. Definitely not an aspect that holds any interest for me. So the judging... hmm... seemed to be largely about having something to say or demonstrating some sort of knowledge. E.g. Judge: "See how the lines draw your eye into the picture." Me (silently): "But I'd rather my eyes weren't drawn into that dross." Surely no one in the room admired the image, but it got marked highly because the judge found something to say. When s/he was called upon to comment on a genuinely interesting photograph, that demonstrated real artistic flair or an eye for a picture, but which failed to follow the rule of thirds or some such, it was passed over. If the artist says it's art then it is. Maybe. If the judge says it's art - I would have to disagree. I am none the wiser.

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12 hours ago, British Gent said:

I have to confess that I gave up making the weekly trip to a local camera club some years ago, mainly because of (what I perceived to be) the poor quality of the judging. Yes, judging. Like a lot of the camera clubs that thrive in South Wales, photography is seen as something of a competitive sport. Definitely not an aspect that holds any interest for me. So the judging... hmm... seemed to be largely about having something to say or demonstrating some sort of knowledge. E.g. Judge: "See how the lines draw your eye into the picture." Me (silently): "But I'd rather my eyes weren't drawn into that dross." Surely no one in the room admired the image, but it got marked highly because the judge found something to say. When s/he was called upon to comment on a genuinely interesting photograph, that demonstrated real artistic flair or an eye for a picture, but which failed to follow the rule of thirds or some such, it was passed over. If the artist says it's art then it is. Maybe. If the judge says it's art - I would have to disagree. I am none the wiser.

 

You should read my blog; particularly posts for 14/11/2015 -  'The Curse of the camera Club' and 22/11/2017 - 'The Return of the Curse of the Camera Club'.

 

Pete Davis

http://www.pete-davis-photography.com

http://peteslandscape.blogspot.co.uk/

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Posted (edited)

I used to work on a photo mag, which meant I’d judge a few photo contests. At the end of every evening, looking at prints of sunsets, village churches and artless portraits, I made an enemy of everyone to whom I hadn’t given a prize. On the other hand, there’d be two or three guys (usually guys), with cups or rosettes, who’d sidle up to me, congratulate me on my good taste, and offer to buy me a beer. Happy days…

Edited by John Morrison

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Posted (edited)

Camera Club is derivative, Fine Art is the polar opposite. Those who look at Fine Art picture and think 'I could have done that' really are so wide of the point.

 

Stock is also essentially derivative, or at least the vast bulk of the time. We are not trying to produce something that has never been done before or thought about before, infact most often we are trying to work out what somebody else might have thought that they want to see, and possibly, at best, taking that a stage further. 

 

In all honesty, and obviously speaking for myself,  I think we tend to think in terms of cliches in stock - look how often photographers select almost the exact same shot of a place. It is a kind of auto pilot 'that's the shot over there' because we have seen it before or similar ones before. A kind of 'Me Too' process perhaps? 

 

These are just some thoughts and not meant in sort of critical way except of myself. 

Edited by geogphotos

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Fine art is when the originator is crafty enough to be able to convince people that his image of a potato, or a landscape showing three strips of colour only, is worth the thousands of pounds/dollars asking price.

 

Allan

 

 

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1 hour ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Fine art is when the originator is crafty enough to be able to convince people that his image of a potato, or a landscape showing three strips of colour only, is worth the thousands of pounds/dollars asking price.

 

Allan

 

 

Or even a platinum print of a Globe Artichoke. They really do sell for big money.  http://www.pete-davis-photography.com/platinum.html

 

Pete Davis

http://www.pete-davis-photography.com

http://peteslandscape.blogspot.co.uk/

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35 minutes ago, Dyn Llun said:

Or even a platinum print of a Globe Artichoke

 

But that is (a) beautiful, unlike the over-saturated potato/apple above; and (b) a response to an artistic tradition, unlike 99% of Alamy images; and (c) produced with concern for the deeper potential meanings of the image, rather than its mere functionality (as illustration, advertisement, etc.). All of which tend to be (though not always or exclusively) features of "art".

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It really is glowing on my monitor. 

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Which is not at all a bad thing for the purpose for which you made the image, of course. It is, however, upside-down.

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It is calibrated with one of those dongle things that hangs down over the screen, yes. There's a new idea for keywording it anyhow. Too far off topic now though aren't we?

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1 hour ago, GS-Images said:

 

Allan, do you mean images like this? It's a potato made to look like an apple. It's worth a lot of money, but you can have it for only 5,000 quid! Mates rates of course.

 

Braeburn apple on a white background. Stock Photo

 

:lol:

 

For that money I will raid Tesco and photograph my own fruit thank you.

 

I can even print, mount and frame them myself. Just as I used to do way back when for some photo comps I used to enter.

 

Allan

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Robert said:

It is calibrated with one of those dongle things that hangs down over the screen, yes. There's a new idea for keywording it anyhow. Too far off topic now though aren't we?

 

Australian apple?

 

Allan

 

 

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It's quite reassuring (some would call it confirmation bias) that several successful photographers on here have chipped in with their own horror stories about their local club. I wouldn't want to be too harsh - it clearly works for lots of people and probably provides a valuable social function - just not for me. Reading through the various posts has dredged up a few forgotten gems, so at risk of drifting into bitchiness I'll add one other favourite: On one occasion I recall a visiting judge waxing lyrical about an 'action' shot of a white-water rafter. You'll know the kind of thing - swirling water, droplets frozen in mid-air, and that all-important pin sharp focus on the straining face of the rafter. Except somehow the perpetrator of this particular shot had managed, miraculously, to make it dull. He had clearly spent a large part of his day with the continuous-high setting applied, shooting I imagine hundreds of images, all of which got deleted except the one we all sat there looking at. The rafter's face was too small to be truly dramatic and white water in huge quantities is, to be honest, pretty uninteresting. But how that judge loved lecturing us on how important it is to have sharp focus on the eyes! And how the photographer had 'captured' the intense concentration of the sportsman's face. Blah, blah, blah, blah.... Not sure I even stayed for a polystyrene cup of weak tea that night.

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