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Fine Art


15 Dec 2012 12:25PM

Quote: No, to me it is a bit of a snooty thing. My pictures are better than your pictures stuff.



Paul



So studying a MFA degree is just really teaching you how to be snooty? Wow. Tell that to all the art school students studying a subject that doesnt exist

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Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 12:54PM
Fine art by whose definition?

You link to Wiki....not the most reliable source, let it be said, and the picture at the to of the page is Alfred Steiglitz's "The Steerage". What defines this as fine art and not reportage? You're not telling me he constructed the whole image, but shot what he saw in front of him. Decisions about framing, exposure, positioning etc are the same as those made by any photographer, anytime.

Let me also point you to a quote lower down the page..
"Discussions of "fine art photography" in Usenet newsgroups,[13][14] Internet forums,[15][16] and blogs[17][18] have not come to a consensus regarding the definition of the term."

I would have thought someone would have come up with a definitive definition by now.

Don't you think that calling it "fine art" instead of just "art" is somewhat pretentious? What differentiates the two?
thewilliam e2
6 4.9k
15 Dec 2012 12:54PM
BIPP has a category for "fine art" in its awards: useful for pix that wouldn't fit in any other category.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
15 Dec 2012 1:35PM
In what is a very interesting debate, the two statements with which I can most readily identify are:



Quote:Generally fine art is considered art that is created to create emotion rather than reproduce a scene




Quote:Fine art is a category, not a judgement




.
paulbroad e2
7 89 880 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 1:48PM
I think we are missing something here, Paul. Fine art seems to cover landscape and portraiture, and pretty well everything else. I still have no definition of fine art as such I still don't know what it is, if it is actually anything. Art is something that people will like or not like. Art is a very general term. Fine art means even less to me.

I'm afraid using the degree argument really cuts no ice with me. I have a science degree, hard won. A friend was, until his retirement, the head of a science department at a university. That university also did a series of media study courses. He told me about them, there content and his opinion of much of what they did. I will say no more on that.

Paul.
paulbroad e2
7 89 880 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 1:56PM

Quote:BIPP has a category for "fine art" in its awards: useful for pix that wouldn't fit in any other category.


Does that mean those images are better than those in other categories, though?

Paul
paulbroad e2
7 89 880 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 1:58PM
'Generally fine art is considered art that is created to create emotion rather than reproduce a scene.'

That comment is the nearest to a definition yet, I think.

Paul

Quote:I think we are missing something here, Paul. Fine art seems to cover landscape and portraiture, and pretty well everything else. I still have no definition of fine art as such I still don't know what it is, if it is actually anything. Art is something that people will like or not like. Art is a very general term. Fine art means even less to me.

I'm afraid using the degree argument really cuts no ice with me. I have a science degree, hard won. A friend was, until his retirement, the head of a science department at a university. That university also did a series of media study courses. He told me about them, there content and his opinion of much of what they did. I will say no more on that.

Paul.



I briefly described what is generally regarded as the definition of fine art on page 1 of the thread. It doesnt just apply to photography, but almost all art forms. Its more about creating a vision than capturing it. More about making the viewer think than just looking. Partly, its also about making a statement. It can be argued that all art does this, of course, but that is quite subjective. Someone could paint a great landscape, but it doesnt really say anything or make the viewer think. Another artist could create a great landscape made up of cleverly arranged materials or people to give the impression of the other artist's scene. Thats where the differences come in, although its a bit more complex than just that.

The content of university degrees may not say much to you, but it doesnt take away the fact that fine art is a real and recognised field. Or are you saying that media and media studies dont exist?
keith selmes
11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 4:45PM
Here's a definition I offered a while ago on another forum about Fine Art photography.

"Its what you hang on the wall and look at, as distinct from using for advertising, technical records, sentimental value etc.

There are lots of other definitions - in some cases it comes down to what the owner of a "Fine Art" gallery is willing to deal in - which sometimes excludes photography completely, or indeed anything since the 16th century sometimes!

And of course an image can gave a different function for different people, and may be appreciated as art long after its practical purpose has expired, and likewise a famous piece of fine art may well fetch up in an advertising campaign.

However, from many discussions, I think my first sentence is as good as it gets for a brief answer."
keith selmes
11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 4:49PM
A few years ago I was talking by phone with the head of a university School of Fine Art.
In the dead space while we waited for his Apple computer to reboot, I mentioned that I had never really worked out what Fine Art was. He said he'd been teaching it for 30 years, and neither had he.
So if we're having difficulty agreeing, I think we can be excused.
iancrowson e2
4 211 129 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 5:34PM

Quote:'Generally fine art is considered art that is created to create emotion rather than reproduce a scene.'

That comment is the nearest to a definition yet, I think.

Paul


Based on the above, then most photographers must be aiming to produce fine art. Even a family record snap of baby looking sweet will create emotion. If a photographer captures a beautiful scene at dawn she/he will (should) experience emotion at the time and later looking at the image. If it's a good image many others viewers will feel emotion too. The fact is most of the time photographers (and many painters) don't manage to produce images that stir emotions is due to a lack of skill. (or maybe effort)
Calling stuff fine art can be a snobby marketing thing whether by Universities promoting courses or art galleries flogging over priced pictures. Sadly in my view a classical education is often more highly regarded that technical. 'Understanding' fine art paintings, classical literature etc is often considered superior to having engineering or technical skills.
Sorry bit off subject
Ian
paulbroad e2
7 89 880 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 5:41PM
May be moving slightly off topic here. Definitely not saying media studies etc. do not exist. They most certainly do. The best media students are very good indeed and will go far. My previously mentioned friend said they had more applications for media degrees than almost every other subject put together. There are degrees and degrees. Some are what my tutors over 40 years ago called 'Kellogs Box Top' qualifications. You collect enough tokens, you get your qualification.

I know a young lady who did a media degree. After her first year she specialised in photography. On her own admission, in her second year, her total lecture time was one morning a week. Just over 3 hours. The rest of the time was tutorials and assignments for which she collected grades.

She failed her third year. So, she took the third year again. She went out of her way to find out who assessed what assignments and found out what they liked subjectively. She got a 2:1.

What does that tell you. It should tell you something.

She is actually now doing quite well as a retoucher. Something she finds, she tells me, she is quite good at.

Any degree tells you that person has an ability to learn. My science degree took a lot of very hard work and culminated in several weeks of examinations on paper. The only 'token' was the assessment of my final year project on iron ore reduction. A paper had to be written to publishing standards.

It's not just media studies. The quality of education has dropped dramatically in many ways in my opinion, and many degrees and qualifications are just too easy to get and are not necessarily all the work of the person doing the qualification either.

I knew two people who had ARPS qualifications using mono prints. Neither actually did there own prints, a rather exceptional local photographer printed the images for them. Did they admit that to the Royal. I should co-co!

Paul
thewilliam e2
6 4.9k
15 Dec 2012 6:36PM

Quote:May be moving slightly off topic here. Definitely not saying media studies etc. do not exist. They most certainly do. The best media students are very good indeed and will go far. My previously mentioned friend said they had more applications for media degrees than almost every other subject put together. There are degrees and degrees. Some are what my tutors over 40 years ago called 'Kellogs Box Top' qualifications. You collect enough tokens, you get your qualification.

I know a young lady who did a media degree. After her first year she specialised in photography. On her own admission, in her second year, her total lecture time was one morning a week. Just over 3 hours. The rest of the time was tutorials and assignments for which she collected grades.

Any degree tells you that person has an ability to learn. My science degree took a lot of very hard work and culminated in several weeks of examinations on paper. The only 'token' was the assessment of my final year project on iron ore reduction. A paper had to be written to publishing standards.

It's not just media studies. The quality of education has dropped dramatically in many ways in my opinion, and many degrees and qualifications are just too easy to get and are not necessarily all the work of the person doing the qualification either.

I knew two people who had ARPS qualifications using mono prints. Neither actually did there own prints, a rather exceptional local photographer printed the images for them. Did they admit that to the Royal. I should co-co!

Paul



The staff contact time has reduced for one simple reason. Universities are businesses and many work on the principle of "pile 'em high and teach 'em cheap".

The quality of education in many universities is at an all-time low because, all too often, the only real entrance qualification is that the applicant is warm to the touch.
Sooty_1 e2
4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 7:07PM
And that is diluting the standard and kudos of the university system. When I went, only the top 5% of school leavers went to university, and now I believe it's more like 50%. That can only mean fewer resources per student, and it was crowded when I was there....goodness knows what it's like now!
Queuing at the union bar must be horrendous!
I still don't see any real distinction between "art" and "fine art" except the pretentiousness factor.
LVanDhal 2 126 1 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2012 7:43PM
The phrase "Fine Art"- Fine is used here as a shortened form of the word Refined, and is applied in the literal sense, as something that has been improved upon.
Art is used here in the sense of the Art of doing, something that has been improved upon beyond that of skill.
If you learn to juggle three balls that is a skill, if you learn to juggle six chain saws that is the act of turning a skill into an art.
Fine Art denotes something that has shown itself to be, or is believed to be,the creation of a higher application of understanding combined with a higher application of techniques.
It was originally a "Classical" term, today it is over used and misunderstood, but generally is taken to mean something of higher than normal quality.

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