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  #1  
Old 20th September 2021, 12:52 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Default What is and are you a 'Fine art printer'?

I was pondering last night the above term, 'Fine art printer', after reading about a couple of photographers yesterday, who included the term in their 'About' text.

I have just read a number of posts, with each writer explaining what they considered a 'F.A.P.' to be, but I'm interested to hear from members of this forum.

So, what do you consider a 'F.A.P' to be and are you one of them?

Terry S
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Old 20th September 2021, 03:06 PM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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You are or were a Photography Student Terry, you need really to answer that question for yourself.

First you have to define Photography as an Art, and then Fine art, follwed by a Fine Art Print.

It's also more about how others percieve your work and some here in the UK have quite different views to how Photography can be percieved as Fine Art compared to Europe and Nort America, and other parts of the world.

It's worth reading Mike Weaver "The Photographic Art" and also !Photography as Fine Art" published by Thames & Hudson 1983.

There is no definitive wy to make Fin Art Prints, it's more about consistency and the aesthetic qualities, also how your work stands up against leading photographers in the the field you are shooting. Also how do they percieve your work, how do you edit it, what do you do with it, who is the audience.

These are inter-woven, something I bring up discuss during the ocassional lectures I give. It's important as an artist to be able to contextualiseyour work.

Ian

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Old 20th September 2021, 03:16 PM
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"Fine Art" is one of those terms that people write doctorates on but at its basics just means something that is for non-utilitarian purposes. A photograph that documents viral plaques on a cell culture is not fine art when it appears in print as part of a research project. Using that cell culture to say something about the role of scientific research in modern society is. Even using the image for decorative purposes by (for example) colourising it, turns it into "fine art". Whether it is "good" fine art is another discussion...

When Fay Godwin photographed a security sign warning of guard dog patrols on a fence surrounding Stonehenge (Nightguard), she was not documenting the fence building skills of English Heritage, she was making a statement about the occupation of public space, history and culture by outside forces (my interpretation, but given what I have read about her, I believe I am close to what she intended). Fine Art makes a statement - whether that is a serious socio-political call to arms or, "look - isn't this pretty?".

Last edited by Bob; 20th September 2021 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 20th September 2021, 03:44 PM
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I leave out the 'art' and aspire to make, 'fine prints'.

For me, this means getting the maximum out of the negative, that I can. Which in turn, means, making the best possible negatives, that I can.

My 'fine print' ambitions have been the main driver behind my material acquisitions and my aesthetic choices.

However, in a sense, I'm a terrible printer because I refuse to even attempt to make a 'fine print' from a negative that's less than satisfactory. I just don't have the time, money, patience OR more importantly, the skill, to throw good paper after bad.
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Old 20th September 2021, 03:58 PM
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For me fine art is a way for some photographer's to justify themselves as better than you. sorry gents but that is the way it comes across
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Old 20th September 2021, 04:27 PM
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A fine art print contains the aesthetics of the print, and not necessary of the subject. There are photographs which are an form of art without any doubt, but they are not fine art prints. Their aesthetics came from the subject, not from the hues, the shades of grey, the presence or absence of grain etc.

Of course, a real great photograph is a combination of both.

I for myself try at least to go the way toward fine art printing.
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Old 20th September 2021, 05:53 PM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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Interesting comments from Marty and Uwe coming from the mainland European tradition to approaching photography as art. This approach is strongest in France, weakest in the UK.

The concept of the Fine print is important

Art in photography is not necessarily about an individual print it may also be about a sequence, a larger collection of images where each image contributes to the overall whole concept. Here sequencing can give a poetic feel to work.

Behind Fine prints, and Fine aart photography is disciplined craft, and craft gives you greater freedom knowing that you will achieve the results you concieved at the taking stage.

An example of why craft is important came home to me in the mid 1980's when I bgan using teh Zone System. I spent a year shooting a small cast iron bridge over thelocal river, all seasons and weather. I framed a Diptych - one image shot late in the evening on a sunny summer day so quite soft mellow light, the other on a frosty foggy winters day with some snow, roughly identical tripod placement. They work extremely well together.

Perhaps another example is 3 shots made different years at the same location Wheel Francis in Cornwall made while on APUG/FADU long weekend trips to Cornwall. Deespite using 5x4 Tmax100 for the first, 120 Delta 100 for the second, and HP5 for the third the prints match as if made the same day on the same film albeit different times of the day..

Fay Godwin was a mediocre printer in her early days, then she did some workshops at Paul Hill's The photographers Place, one with John Blakemore dramaticall changed and improved her way of printing. I'd add she told me & others that herself

Personally the finest printer I've seen is John Blakemore, I bought a couple of his prints, he sent me a third as a Christmas card

Personally I rarely talk about Photography as a Fine Art, I have my opions that it can be, and find it odd that when living outside the UK people described me as an artist (no initial mention of being a Photographer). while in the UK the majority of people think Photography is not art.

Ian
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Old 21st September 2021, 11:29 AM
Nat Polton Nat Polton is offline
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Some interesting views here.

When reading this kind of thing on art I sometimes recall the English writer Alexi Sayle.


He said "I left art school when I realised that no matter how good an artist you were, unless you had a good patron, and could talk for hours on end, waffling on meaninglessly about the work that you had just created, you would never make a successful artist."

It's also possibly he was not very good.


Cheers.
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Old 21st September 2021, 12:05 PM
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I have a nice example of fine art prints which get it's impact alone from the print and not form the subject. The seascapes of Hiroshi Sugimoto. I have a book of Sugimoto which contains a bunch of them in triotone print. Quite impressive.
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Old 21st September 2021, 12:30 PM
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Here's another take I have on it;

"There are those who push the medium to the boundaries and those who push the boundaries of the medium."

The first tend to be more craftsmen like Adam's and the second more artist's, like Weston.
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