Contemporary Photography - Fine art photography today
Contemporary Photography is probably the most contemporary of all art forms.
Literally the expression "contemporary photography" means photography from the present time, or better from the same period of time we are having now. And literally "contemporary photography" means all kind of photography, but usually the term is used for fine art photography.
Originally photography was seen as a craft, not as an art. It had been a very long way for photography to be seen as an art.
In the U.S. F. Holland Day, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen were instrumental in making photography a fine art, and Stieglitz was especially notable in introducing it into museum collections.
In Europe as recently as 1960, photography was not really recognised as a Fine Art.
Until the late 1970s several genres predominated, such as; nudes, portraits and landscapes. Breakthrough 'star' artists in the 1970s and 80s, such as Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Farber, and Cindy Sherman, still relied heavily on such genres, although seeing them with fresh eyes. Others investigated a snapshot aesthetic approach. American organizations, such as the Aperture Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art, have done much to keep photography at the forefront of the fine arts. (wikipedia)
Fine art photography is photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist as photographer. Fine art photography stands in contrast to representational photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects and events, literally representing objective reality rather than the subjective intent of the photographer; and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services. (wikipedia)
Related (or synonymous) terms to "fine art photography" are "art photography", "artistic photography" or "photo art".
There is now a thriving collectors' market for which the most sought-after art photographers will produce high quality archival prints in strictly limited editions.
In addition to the "digital movement" towards manipulation, filtering, and or resolution changes, some fine artists deliberately seek a "naturalistic," including "natural lighting" as a value in itself. Sometimes the art work as in the case of Gerhard Richter consists of a photographic image that has been subsequently painted over with oil paints and/or contains some political or historical significance beyond the image itself. The existence of "photographically-projected painting" now blurs the line between painting and photography which traditionally was absolute.
As a methodology conceptual photography is a type of photography that is staged to represent an idea. (...)
The term 'conceptual photography' used to describe a genre may refer to the use of photography in Conceptual Art or in contemporary art photography. (...)
Conceptual art of the late 1960s and early 1970s often involved photography to document performances, ephemeral sculpture or actions. The artists did not describe themselves as photographers (...)These artists are sometimes referred to as conceptual photographers but those who used photography extensively such as John Hilliard and John Baldessari are more often described as photoconceptualistsor "artists using photography". (...)
Since the 1970s artists using photography like Cindy Sherman and latterly Thomas Ruff and Thomas Demand have been described as conceptual. Although their work does not generally resemble the lo-fi aesthetic of 1960s conceptual art they may use certain methods in common such as documenting performance (Sherman), typological or serial imagery (Ruff) or the restaging of events (Demand). In fact the indebtedness to these and other approaches from Conceptual Art is so widespread in contemporary Fine-art photography that almost any work might be described as conceptual. The term has perhaps been used most specifically in a negative sense to distinguish some contemporary art photography from documentary photography or Photojournalism. This distinction has been made in the coverage of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Different types and genres of photography
Analog photography (film photography) and digital photography
Analogue Photography’ refers to photography using an analogue camera and photographic film or plate (...) For more than a hundred years, this was the only kind of photography. (Wikipedia)
Digital photography uses cameras containing arrays of electronic photodetectors to capture images. The captured images are digitized and stored as computer files. These image files can be further digital processed, published or printed. (...) Starting around 2007, digital cameras were incorporated in cell phones. (Wikipedia).
Other genres like scientific photography, wedding photography, industrial photography or sports photography are usually not seen as genres of fine art photography.
Of course different genres of photography can also overlap and mix up between them.
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