Photography is more than just a means for documentation. Photography is more than snap shots at a family reunion. A fine art photographer makes more choices than people realize. Point and click is not the solution for taking a photograph (John Szarkowski 9-12) . A fine art photographer may choose to freeze action or to blur it. The freezing or blurring of action is not just done at the push of a button, it takes knowledge and an understanding of how apertures and shutter speeds relate to each other under different circumstances with different types of film (Barbara London and John Upton 98). Art or not, photography is a creative process.
Another characteristic that sets apart photography fine artist compared to the rest of the world’s photographers is larger negative sizes (Henry Horenstein 181). Most fine art photographers use medium and large format (Antonia LoSopio 7-8). Every photographer that uses a medium or large format camera is not a fine artists by any means, yet most average photographers don’t have a desire to shell out $5,000 for a medium format camera, nor do people want to take the time that a larger camera requires. I personally have spent up to four hours just composing the frame with a large format camera before I even used one piece of film. Also medium format and large format film cannot be processed at any one-hour photo booth. Most people don’t want to pay the prices of a professional lab, and the average photographer doesn’t see the differences from a pro-lab and a regular one-hour photo booth, even though the difference is substantial.
Fine Art photographers do not merely take photographs at random either. Fine art photographers...
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...or a low lighting situation (Barbara London and John Upton 132)
To counteract the graininess of some films there are fine grain developers. In addition to the special developers there are different ways to dilute the chemicals for more efficiency (Horenstein 56-66). Fine grain developers will help to sharpen pictures but at the cost of tonal range, the middle grays will become less abundant, this is sometimes desirable. If the fine grain developer is diluted the middle gray tones will return but sharpness will be sacrificed (Barbara London and John Upton 133). None of this is very noticeable until the images are enlarged considerably large, but the change still happens. When most photographs that are hung in museums are quite large, so many can view the same image at the same time, the change from the regular to fine grain developer is significant.
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