WHAT IS FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY? “Fine Art Photography” The term still creates confusion for many people. Sometimes when I tell people that I am a fine art photographer, they assume that means that I photograph other artists’ paintings. As recently as 50 years ago, combining the term “fine art” with the term “photography” was generally considered to be oxymoronic. It was often believed that creating an image with a machine (camera) simply could not qualify as “fine art.” That bias has been changing in recent years, in part because of the regular use of photo editing techniques.
One definition of fine art is “a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness.” In other words, it is art produced primarily for beauty rather than for utility. The word “fine” does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question as it does the purity of the discipline.
Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the photographer that is, to express her/his artistic perceptions and emotions, and to share them with others. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, commercial photography, and snapshots.
The images within this book reflect a broad cross-section of my photographic vision over the years. They had a profound impact on me when I was creating them and I hope they will evoke a profound response from you when you are viewing them.
In his color-rich photographs, [Mr. Ritchey] crops his subjects tightly, causing the subjects themselves to disappear. I found myself referring to the photographs as paintings, perhaps because of the richness of the color —Art Matters
We are hard put to extrapolate from the marvelous patterns to the larger [subject]–but the pattern arrests the eye. Taken out of context, [the images] are given new meanings, transformed from their original functions. —Newsday