Introduction: Creating Successful Photographs - Fine Art

About: Want/need to learn photography from a professional? That's what I'm here for. However, I'm bad at this, "talking about me," stuff, so here are some quotes that sum up my better bits. ---------- "Take me, I a…

Out of all the different types of photography, fine art photography will always be the most sought after in my opinion.  Every photographer is an artist, and if most of them could make a living off of fine art, I'm sure they would. 

Fine art is a way to express yourself, state your opinions, create or capture beauty and more, and it gives you the opportunity to photograph whatever you want, however you want. 

This particular tutorial is a part of my "Creating Successful Photographs" series.  If you've never done photography before, you might want to start at my "Basics" instructable:

**NOTE: All photographs used in this tutorial were shot and retouched by myself, including those that have the Vogue logo as they have been published on

Step 1: Vintage Fine Art

You might say, "Well, how do I get vintage fine art if I'm not using a vintage camera or film?"  Well you can.  Vintage photograph is not just about the equipment that was used, it's about the feeling the photograph evokes.  A lot of fine art today is done with a vintage finishing.  The photograph should be taken in a classic way, following some of the more basic rules of photography, such as the rule of thirds and the Hogarth Line of Beauty.

Modern looking art tends to be more angular or graphic, especially in the photographic world.  By keeping your work more about the subject rather than the composition alone, you can achieve a vintage look.  

Another important aspect of vintage looking art is the technique used to make it look older, such as the tonality of the image.  Instead of using straight black and white, a lot of vintage or vintage looking photographs have a sepia, or brownish tone to them.  You can also make your photograph look more vintage by adding a grungy texture to it.   

Step 2: Evoking Emotion

Fine art photography, like fine art paintings, are meant to express or evoke an emotion in the viewer.  This can be achieved by creating mood using lighting and tonality throughout the photograph.  Usually the most though provoking and impactful photographs are also in black and white.  The contrast used in black and white images enhance the nature of the subject rather than distracting with the details of the colors in the background. 

What most people don't notice is that two colors that might look completely different when seen in real life, are actually the same tonality in black and white and when color is absent, they blend in with each other, making the other, more contrasty aspects of the photograph stand out.

Step 3: Abstract

However, not all fine are has to be in black and white and vintage looking.  Abstract photography and abstract art can really work however they want to.  There are no rules and there are no subjects.  This technique is really meant to evoke an emotion not because of the subject matter, but because of the way it's displayed. 

A busy or crazy photograph, such as the one pictured above, can evoke an emotion just as easily as a photograph with subject matter.  It shows movement and liveliness, forcing the viewers eye to jump all over the image instead of being gently led to one part of the photograph or another.

Keep all this in mind as you're shooting and maybe it will inspire you to get some shots you didn't think  you were capable of. 

Happy shooting!  :)

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