When I go to networking events and people ask me what I do, with a smile I answer: "I am a photographer". Two seconds later the same question always comes: "What do you photograph?" Now, once they delve bit deeper, I answer: "I am a Fine Art Photographer". Without fail comes a silence followed by a polite mm hmmmmm…Every once in a while, a brave soul will actually admit to the discomfort of not having a clue what that means and will ask me to explain what Fine art really is. So, I give my elevator pitch reply:
Fine Art Photography is photography with Vision and Intention. It is when you are firstly and foremostly an artist and using the camera as your paint brush.
To explain further...The camera is not like the human eye; it records without fail every detail captured in it's frame of vision. The human eye/mind is not like that. When we are in front of a scene, there are things that register in our mind and things that don’t. We see something that intrigues us, be it beauty, geometry or a statement we want to make. Our mind sees our intent and discards all the irrelevant details ‘cluttering’ the scene (power poles, urban foliage, cars abstracting part of the scene etc...)
In Fine Art Photography it is the task of the photographer/artist to convey what she saw in her mind’s eye using a tool that does not see like the mind. This is where pre-vision comes into play. By knowing what your final result should look like, you can start your creative workflow in camera, and get the ‘bones’ of the image so you will have the foundation in which to build upon. Once the shot has been taken, you can complete your vision in the post production process; all to create an image that resembles what you saw in your mind’s eye and the intention you want to convey.
Influenced by Cubism and inspired by the breathtaking work of Pep Ventosa, during my latest New York Workshop, I wanted to show the Flatiron building in NY from various angles at once – this was my vision. So, in camera I took multiple shots from different angles and then in post production, stacked the images to create a ‘multiple’ like exposure. As the one final image was comprised of multiple shots, many people and foreground context were added to the scene, so this technique also helped in conveying the hustle and bustle of a typical NY street.
Want to learn more about transforming your snap shots into Art?
Join one of Sharon’s Workshops to enhance your photography skills.