Photographic art is a mixture between photography and art. There is no absolute definition of photographic art, so the meaning may vary slightly depending on who you talk to. What it has in common is that it is a photo that tries to convey something to the viewer: a story, a moment or an emotion.
In this article we try to go a bit more thoroughly into the background of photo art, where to find and buy photo art and how to create your own photo art.
- Background and importance
- Fine Art
- Classical works
- Where to find photographic art
- Typical motifs
- Sizes of prints
- Trends today
- Personal photo art
- Final words
Background and importance
The aim of photographic art is to express an idea, a message or a feeling. This is different from photojournalism in newspapers, for example, which focuses on representing actual reality. Or commercial photography whose aim is to promote products or services.
The image itself can be anything from a planned photo to a photo taken spontaneously and then edited. Editing in particular is very common in photo art. It can range from minimal editing to major changes or enhancements, but common is adding extra contrast or editing the photo in black and white instead of colour.
Photographic art is not just about taking a great photo, it’s also about making sure the photo has meaning and conveys what you want it to convey.
In short, photographic art is a photo, often edited in black and white, printed on a high-quality paper in a larger size and presented as art with a thought behind it.
Fine Art is art created solely for aesthetic or beauty purposes. This distinguishes it from decorative or applied art that must also serve some practical function, such as ceramics or most metalwork. Fine art is related to photographic art but is a broader concept that also includes paintings, architecture, music and poetry.
Printing Fine art
However, in everyday language, the term Fine Art is used when talking about professional printing techniques. Fine art printing is done on machines that have a wider colour gamut than traditional printers and on very high quality paper, such as that made by the German Hahnemühle.
Fine art prints are popular, often in small and exclusive editions, with photographers who want to present their work in the best possible way.
Paper is an important factor when printing photographic art. With the right paper, colour and depth are brought out in an excellent way. The wrong paper, on the other hand, can make the image flat and watered down. A recognised brand of paper for photo printing is Hahnemühle.
Hahnemühle is a German paper manufacturer founded as early as the 16th century at the source of the Solling mountain range in Germany. The filtering effect of the Solling sandstone had a softening effect from the pure spring water, which led to paper of very fine quality.
Today, the company makes paper for painters, graphic artists, bookbinders and photographers from all over the world. Hahnemühle is particularly known for its high-quality artists’ papers for painting and Fine Art papers for digital printing.
You’ve probably seen them in interior design magazines or on blogs: the black-and-white portraits of famous people from the past or of romantic settings.
There are many popular motifs, but some of the most classic photo artworks and collections are:
- Kate Moss: Life Is A Joke – Craig McDean
- Marilyn Monroe – Various forographs and images
- Elephant drinking: On this Earth a Shadow Falls – Nick Brandt
Where to find photographic art
Traditionally, photographic art has only been found in photographic art exhibitions or galleries, but this has changed in recent years.
Museums and galleries
Famous museums such as the Guggenheim or the Museum of Modern Art in New York often offer various motifs from famous photographers in limited editions. Scandinavian galleries such as Fotografiska in Stockholm and Louisiana in Elsinore also regularly have collections of photographic art.
Online and shops
As photographic art has become more popular and accessible in recent years, it is now much easier and cheaper to find.
It is common for shops selling posters and paintings to have some photo art motifs. Sometimes these are classic works by famous photographers and the paintings are a bit more expensive than traditional posters, often around 80-100 euro and up. Some shops offer photographic art taken by their own photographers, in which case prices are much lower, often starting at around 15-20 euro for a print.
Since the most important thing in photographic art is to convey a feeling or message, the subject can vary a lot. But we can see some commonalities in much of the photographic art that is popular:
- Often edited in black and white or tinted colours
- Portraits of famous people or models, often in odd situations or poses
- Beautiful settings from romantic cities, such as Paris or Rome
- Close-ups of body parts or silhouettes of bodies
Sizes of prints
When developing a photo, it is common for images to be printed in smaller sizes such as 10×15 or 15×20 cm.
Photographic art, on the other hand, is usually printed in larger formats. 30×40 and especially 50×70 cm are common formats. Sometimes it is printed as large as 70×100 cm or even larger. These are common sizes for all kinds of prints which makes it easy to find matching frames or hangers.
The larger format of photography makes greater demands on the photo itself. The larger the magnification, the higher the quality of the photo needs to be to avoid blurring or pixelation.
Photographic art is hotter than ever. Buying photographic art has become a way to express emotion and personality in the home in a sober and classic way.
Availability with posters
In recent years, high-volume poster companies have made photographic art accessible to all. Being able to buy professional photographic art for a few hundred dollars instead of thousands has increased interest enormously. Today, it is the rule rather than the exception to find photographic art in ordinary people’s interiors.
The camera – always ready!
Modern smartphones have driven developments in photography. Image quality that once required a large camera body can now be achieved with a phone. Instead of relying solely on lenses and optics, smartphones today use a sophisticated combination of optics and software and AI(artificial intelligence) to help you take truly amazing pictures.
Of course, it’s hard for a smartphone to fully compare with today’s system cameras. But developments in mobile cameras are moving much faster than developments in system cameras. It’s impressive to see how beautiful and sharp images and prints can be produced with a regular mobile camera today.
“The best camera is the one you have with you”, as the saying goes.
And isn’t that right?
Personal photo art
At Wallpoet we call it personal photo art, which means photo art that is completely personal and means something to you.
Our founder wanted to turn his wedding picture into a poster that maintained the same quality of colour and paper as professional designs. In pure resignation that there were no good and easy options for creating your own photo art, Wallpoet was started. Read more about our story here.
Our poster designer
In our unique poster designer you can easily choose the filter, border, text and size. All layouts and filters have been created exclusively for Wallpoet by experienced image editors and photographers.
Try your hand at creating unique photo art that means something special to you, highlighting your own story, moment or emotion.
Photographic art has truly taken the world by storm and it is now easier than ever to find artistic and beautiful motifs that will fit perfectly in your house or apartment.
Find some ready-made motifs that appeal to you and evoke a feeling, and combine them with some photo art boards that you have created yourself. You’ll end up with a stylish and guaranteed unique chalkboard wall that will impress your guests and display memories that will make for pleasant discussion topics.
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