Fine Arts Photography

Although the first photograph was taken in 1826, the first modern, inexpensive, and easy to use camera was not produced until 1888. Although the device was originally envisioned as a utilitarian method for capturing a moment of time for history, artists soon realized its value as an entirely new medium for expression, ushering a new era of fine arts photography. Rather than simply taking a picture of the surroundings, artists began taking the camera in hand, and photographing scenes that encapsulated a moment of abstract thought and feeling.

Later, the artists were presented with another option in the field of fine arts photography. Color film made its mass-market debut in 1907, and the first modern color film was introduced twenty-eight years later, in 1935. Photography remained basically the same for years, until 1981 when digital cameras began to roll out, and with them, easy computer-based editing. As the quality of digital cameras evolves, more artists turn to them for the extra features available when taking a photo digitally.

The realm of fine arts photography involves far more than merely taking a picture, however. True artists have a great deal of knowledge beyond the art of the scene. First, they must understand the physics of light and optics. Focus, the aperture of the lens, focal length, the shutter speed, motion, and the type of film are all very important factors in how the final product will look. After the picture is taken, most professional photographers also take an active part in the developing process. Developing the picture also requires a wealth of knowledge, including the actual chemical process and an artistic eye for detail.

In today’s world of fine arts photography, where the picture is stored on an electronic card, instead of film, a new process is introduced. After the picture is taken, it can be edited on the computer, and the software used to do this grows ever-more complex and full of features for artists. Going from simple color-correction to digital filters and effects, the means for digital expression are endless. Photography continues to grow as a favorite art form, from a basic portrait to an abstract illusion of light.

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