In fine art photography, beauty, balance and aesthetics are even more important than in other types of photography. Since fine art photographs are often displayed as art pieces, one of the most important fine art photography tips is to become familiar with the rules of composition, since these will help your images look as appealing as possible to the eye. Of course, rules are made to be broken, and some of the most interesting photographs defy rules of composition such as symmetry. However, to effectively break the rules, you should first understand them.
You might get tempted to splash out on all the best equipment, lenses, and camera bodies. However, the best equipment is the equipment you already have. Focus on creating interesting, beautiful images with your current camera set up, and then you can slowly add equipment as you get a better sense of what you actually need to create the images you want to capture.
Unlike other kinds of photography where you might just start snapping and see what you come up with, fine art photography is typically more intentional and conceptual. This means that before you start shooting, taking some time to think about the concept behind your work will make your final images stronger. A good way to collect your shots is to write an artist statement for a particular project before shooting. You can always edit it later, but having a clear intention in your mind can provide valuable clarity when shooting.
Try playing around with your shutter speed to create new, artistic effects. This is one of the best fine art tips if you’re capturing water or another rapidly moving subject, since a slower shutter speed will transform an ordinary scene into something much more captivating. One thing to keep in mind when slowing down your shutter speed is that you’ll need a tripod to avoid your whole image being wobbly.
More than many other types of photography, fine art photography lends itself well to being printed and displayed just like any other artwork. This is a good idea if you want to make some extra passive income with your photography by offering prints for sale in the ecommerce part of your portfolio website. Also, if you dream of seeing your work on the walls of a gallery, you’ll have to get it off the screen and into the real world. By printing your works on a smaller scale first, you’ll get familiar with different paper types, printing techniques, and printers you know and trust with your work.
While there are a lot of great fine art photography tips out there involving editing tricks and abstract subjects, be careful that your photographs don’t become too cliched. Fine art photographers can often lean too much on very abstract, highly conceptual subjects that are uninteresting to the viewer, or heavy handed editing and vignetting. If you find yourself using these techniques, challenge yourself to use them lightly.
The same picture taken in varying lighting situations can look completely different. Natural light offers a wide range of lighting situations, and you don’t have to spend money on expensive studio light setups to access it. If you’re shooting outdoors, experiment with shooting at different times of day. Most photographers are familiar with the golden hour right before sunset, but the blue hour before sunrise is equally beautiful, and even the harsh shadows of noon is perfect for some fine art photography ideas.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas of what to shoot, try capturing something you see all the time from a new perspective. This can mean using a macro lens and getting up close and personal with an object, or shooting the lesser-known parts of a beautiful building. The beauty of fine art photography is that there is inspiration everywhere, and allowing yourself to change your perspective is a great way to tap into the possibilities around you.
As a photographer, you probably love picking up your camera and capturing whatever the day brings your way. Some types of photography, such as photojournalism and family portraiture, are all about capturing real, candid moments. Fine art photography is very different in this respect. It requires being thoughtful about your fine art photography ideas and defining your concept well before picking up the camera.
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