“Fine Art Photography” is a bit difficult to define. So let me explain how I define it. A “Fine Art” photograph emphasizes presentation rather than representation. For example, a portrait is about a person, a landscape picture is about an outdoor scene, and a travel photograph conveys a sense of place and time. Conversely, a “Fine Art” photograph emphasizes color, texture, form, light, shape, or vision rather than the specific subject or place. Obviously, these attributes are vital to all photography— they are what make “art.” But a “Fine Art” photograph is, essentially, about the photograph itself rather than the subject.
Sometimes the subject may not be recognizable by itself (an “abstract” composition), since the image may focus on a single detail, or on the contrasting colors or patterns associated with the subject. Or else the subject may be quite recognizable as an ordinary object presented in an unusual way.
There are other ways to define “Fine Art.” For example, some photographers use the term as a kind of euphemism for black and white. It certainly sounds better, and recognizes that black and white photography requires special artistry in the darkroom— either chemical or digital— as well as in the camera. But I use “Fine Art” here only as a term of art (sorry), and leave it up to you to decide whether these pictures are, in fact, fine art.
To see more “Fine Art” pictures, and some techniques for taking them, see my article on Transcending the Familiar.
Click on any picture to see a larger version.