When photography meets art
When we talk about artistic photography, we mean the encounter between the photographer’s artistic vision and the photography itself. Photography is the instrument the photographer uses to expresses their idea of art. It’s not a question of creating “works of art” but of exposing one’s own artistic concept. It’s a way of processing reality through a personal concept.
The contacts between painting and photography are always varied and even today there are artists who love to make use of both in the creation of their works.
Mira Neyalkova is a great example of this conception. At first a painter, she decided to devote herself to photography without forgetting painting. In fact, after the shot, the Bulgarian artist works on post-production and uses photoshop as if she were working on a canvas. The end result is the fusion between photography and painting.
There are many artists who use both painting and photography; Picasso used photography, using the optical distortions of the wide-angle lens to see particular details of reality. Impressionists who often used the camera to represent their reality were not impassive to this fusion of art forms. Impressionism comes very close to the concept of photography, that is to grasp the emotions and perceptions of reality, in every single moment.
Subsequently, photography offered painting the opportunity to develop itself, thanks to the need to capture reality and not to imitate it: this is how the currents of futurism, expressionism, cubism and dadaism (visual revolution) were born.
From Dadaists onwards the concept of “manipulation of reality” is increasingly present, that is the possibility of modifying reality according to one’s idea of beauty; but despite this, photography was not yet considered as a form of art – term used only to identify sculpture and painting – but simply as an instrument.
For some time, however, photography has taken on an emotional concept that has changed the shot thus giving it a personal meaning. Each photo is a message and is the voice of the person who takes it. It expresses the photographer’s personality but also his artistic vision. The photographer chooses his subject, frames it, captures its beauties, immortalizes it according to his personal vision and then works it according to his own artistic conception.
Art photography as a photographic genre
Art photography is more than just photography, because it’s made in accordance with the creativity of the person who takes it. For this reason, it deviates from the “usual rules”, based on what the photographer thinks and feels at that moment.
The photo is therefore the result of personal expression.
The realization of this type of photo starts from the choice of the subject to be reinterpreted. The message conveyed by the pictures is very strong: the photographer not only takes care of the shoot but tries to expose their inner self and send their message. They are photos that seem to be drawn by an artist.
How to take artistic photos
In order to make this type of photo, in addition to attending a course on artistic photography, it is necessary to have excellent visual skills, to have a deeper vision, to recognize beauty and art in every little detail. It is a matter of time, of observation, of patience. Only in this way can you give life to your vision.
It’s true that creativity and imagination are innate characteristics in the human being, they are inclinations, but studying what others have done can be of great help. Before shooting, imagine what you want to communicate.
The post production of artistic photographs
Post-production is of fundamental importance in artistic photography. It is therefore necessary to know how to use Photoshop and Lightroom. Through these two programs you can get the best out of your shots, obtain the color you want, play with black and white, add textures, blurs and much more.
Remember: in art photography, in fact, there is no mention of faithful reproduction of reality.
With post production programs you can customize the shot and give it your form of art. Playing with transparencies, with lights and with shadows.
There is no unique way of working because we speak of a personal concept of art. Think about yourself and not what others might think: experiment, make mistakes, shock.
Perhaps it is precisely post production that makes artistic photography different from other genres.
Art photography: what do photographers think about it?
Today everyone takes pictures, but this does not mean being artists, let alone photographers. It means communicating something about yourself. Oliviero Toscani said: “Photography is a democratic art, everyone can shoot but there are few artists”.
Having a smartphone and becoming a photographer is not enough. Photography is observation. This is the thought of Toscani, one of the greatest Italian photographers, who has known international fame thanks to his advertising shots (much discussed and famous those made for Benetton).
“Today everyone can write and read, but the poets have not increased in number. Photography is an art in which everyone thinks they are good, because it is easier to photograph than to speak and write, so they all feel a bit artist. I find it fantastic, this art is so democratic, but it’s not enough to take photographs to be a photographer. An illiterate person also has a pencil in his hand and writes four crosses, Einstein has it in his hand and writes the relativity theory.”
Michele Cirillo, freelance photographer and photography teacher, also thinks the same: “Technology has not created a world of photographers, but has made all capable of capturing images; we can all have a pen but we cannot call ourselves writers for this. Let us remember that photography is a splendid form of art and not the result of more or less technological devices”.
As much as the artistic expression, and therefore the photographic art, is free, one must always have knowledge of what is being done. You don’t become an artist by chance.