Before and after: Fine art editing
Fine-art photography is photography created in line with the vision of the photographer as artist, using photography as a medium for creative expression. The goal of fine-art photography is to express an idea, a message, or an emotion. This stands in contrast to representational photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects and events, literally representing objective reality rather than the subjective intent of the photographer; and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products, or services.
Although fine art photography may overlap with many other genres of photography, the overlaps with fashion photography and photojournalism merit special attention.
In 1996 it was stated that there had been a «recent blurring of lines between commercial illustrative photography and fine art photography,» especially in the area of fashion. Evidence for the overlap of fine art photography and fashion photography includes lectures, exhibitions, trade fairs such as Art Basel Miami Beach, and books.
Photojournalism and fine art photography overlapped beginning in the «late 1960s and 1970s, when… news photographers struck up liaisons with art photography and painting». In 1974 the International Center of Photography opened, with emphases on both «humanitarian photojournalism» and «art photography». By 1987, «pictures that were taken on assignments for magazines and newspapers now regularly reappear[ed] – in frames – on the walls of museums and galleries».
Fine art photography is created primarily as an expression of the artist’s vision, but as a byproduct it has also been important in advancing certain causes. The work of Ansel Adams in Yosemite and Yellowstone provides an example. Adams is one of the most widely recognized fine art photographers of the 20th century, and was an avid promoter of conservation. While his primary focus was on photography as art, some of his work raised public awareness of the beauty of the Sierra Nevada and helped to build political support for their protection.
Such photography has also had effects in the area of censorship law and free expression, due to its concern with the nude body.