Art photography is relatively young. Photography the way we know it only exists for less than 100 years. Some early attempts can be dated back to few centuries B.C. but the modern photography is just a baby compared to more traditional forms of art. Maybe that is why there are no universally-accepted definitions of the related terms "art photography" "artistic photography" and "fine art photography".
So, what would be the right definition of it? Here is my take on this:
If the definition is not clearly defined by an overwhelmingly accepted authority in the field, then it is up to the people to determine what fits the best. On the side note, maybe because this field of Art is so young I haven’t come across an organization or a person that had enough recognition to unite and direct all the artists in this field (on the other hand I do not think that other areas of art has anything like that as well).
Thus, doing a little research on the Web can show what people are looking for and thus can show what they think the right term and the right definition is.
Here are the two things to look for:
1. Most widely accepted term and definition of Art Photography
2. Terms used the most to locate commercial prints on the Web.
Well the answer to number one is ‘as clear as mud’. Here is Wikipedia.org take on it:
“Definitions on the Web
Among the definitions that can be found on the Web are:
The Library of Congress authorities use "art photography" as "photography of art," and "artistic photography" (i.e., "Photography, artistic") as "photography as a fine art, including aesthetic theory".
The Art & Architecture Thesaurus states that "fine art photography" (preferred term) or "art photography" or "artistic photography" is "the movement in England and the United States, from around 1890 into the early 20th century, which promoted various aesthetic approaches. Historically, has sometimes been applied to any photography whose intention is aesthetic, as distinguished from scientific, commercial, or journalistic; for this meaning, use 'photography'".
Definitions of "fine art photography" on photographers' static Web pages vary from "the subset of fine art that is created with a camera" to "limited-reproduction photography, using materials and techniques that will outlive the artist". Discussions of "fine art photography" in Usenet newsgroups, Internet forums, and blogs have not come to a consensus regarding the definition of the term.”
So there is no point trying to figure it out right now, since there are so many people already trying. Not sure if it is really matters as long as everyone can settle on one term and one definition.
So what about number two? Well, this is what people are looking according to Google’s keywords suggestion tool:
Art Photography is the most popular search term, followed by Fine Art Photography with five to ten times less search volume and followed by Artistic Photography with fifteen to twenty five times less search volume than the ‘Art Photography’. Thus, looks like Art Photography is the most popular term. However, who knows what people are defining it as and what they actually looking for when they do the search – A local artist, photography art prints for sale, definition of the term, a gallery, etc…?
Interestingly enough black white photography and photo art are in second and third position based on the search volume.
There you have it ‘Art Photography’ appears to be most widely used and is probably the eventual winner of the right term status. The only thing that remains is to come up with the correct definition.
And here are a few artworks of mine to make the post a little more eye pleasing:
See more photography art here: