Fine Art Photography – Studio C

Fine art photography of male model Christopher Ryan by David Gray of YogaBear Studio at Studio C in San Diego. To view the Studio C nude photography gallery, click here.

History of Fine-Art Photography

One photography historian claimed that “the earliest exponent of ‘Fine Art’ or composition photography was John Edwin Mayall, “who exhibited daguerrotypes illustrating the Lord’s Prayer in 1851″. Successful attempts to make fine art photography can be traced to Victorian era practitioners such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and Oscar Gustave Rejlander and others. 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 the UK as recently as 1960, photography was not really recognised as a Fine Art. Dr S.D.Jouhar said, when he formed the Photographic Fine Art Association at that time – “At the moment photography is not generally recognized as anything more than a craft. In the USA photography has been openly accepted as Fine Art in certain official quarters. It is shown in galleries and exhibitions as an Art. There is not corresponding recognition in this country. The London Salon shows pictorial photography, but it is not generally understood as an art. Whether a work shows aesthetic qualities or not it is designated ‘Pictorial Photography’ which is a very ambiguous term. The photographer himself must have confidence in his work and in its dignity and aesthetic value, to force recognition as an Art rather than a Craft”

Until the late 1970s several genres predominated, such as; nudes, portraits, natural landscapes (exemplified by Ansel Adams). 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.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Fine-art photography, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0