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Editorial versus Fine Art versus Snapshot

Posted 01-29-2008 at 07:25 PM by Janet Petty
Updated 01-29-2008 at 07:30 PM by Janet Petty

Recently, in the Photography thread there was a heated discussion regarding what was "legal" regarding picture taking. I've sort of jelled some thoughts in that area and would be interested to see what others think about them.

Mind you, I'm not eloquent nor do I communicate with 100% clarity. But that is the nature of the beast. No one person understands perfectly what another person says. But that is a different discussion for another time.

Editorial pictures are left pretty much untouched. They are the photojournalism type pictures such as those found in newspapers, and news magazines. They reflect reality with all of its nuances and starkness. They tell a story, often graphic; and hopefully truthful. I guess another word would be documentary.

Fine Art pictures are just that. They have been manipulated either in the darkroom or digitally to show what the artist/photographer wants you to see. In other words, his or her vision of a place, event, or object. Real estate or architectural photography would also fall into this category because the photographer will move objects and create lighting to better show the subject. I love to take macros of various items and old, abandoned cars, then manipulate the colors and sharpness until they really make a dramatic statement. I push some of my photography into the realm of fine art and enjoy every minute of the creation process. It is much like being able to create a masterpiece as if I were a painter with brushes and a canvas.

Snapshots (for me at least) are the documentary pictures taken of people or scenery to remember the moment. Candid people photography is a good example. There is nothing posed. The lighting is often bad. There are dirty dishes in the sink, or the table needs clearing...but the moment is priceless and needs to be captured. These are the shots that parents or grandparents pull out of their wallets and proudly display for others. They are memories of places and times we want to remember. They are meaningful to us regardless of the distractions in the background.

In a discussion a few days ago, some friends and I listed the some types of photos. Categories if you will. These are a few; and they often overlap into other areas. Can you think of more? And which ones are enhanced to bring out the best?

Fine Art

The discussion referenced below centered mostly on whether a photo should be manipulated. I personally believe that unless a photo is destined for the newsroom or a documentary of some kind where integrity and honesty are paramount to a story that removing the unsightly and distracting content actually enhances one's viewing experience. What are your thoughts on this. Please keep it civil.
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  1. Old Comment
    Janet Petty's Avatar
    Frank, your comments are spot on.

    I often visit with a person who is mostly a photojournalist. Retouching to him means basically sharpening and some cropping, with realism being the key point.

    I'm all for removing the distractions and making art out of the picture.

    Needless to say, our friendly discussions cover all the bases, each of us learning from the other.

    I'm with you, everything is manipulated in some way, whether in camera or not. It just depends on the reason for taking the picture in the first place.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Posted 01-30-2008 at 11:04 AM by Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Janet you sound like a person who is functional as well as artistic about retouching. Workflow is everyone's private art and technique is their expression. Have you ever considered a gig as a hi-end beauty/fashion retoucher in NYC?
    Michael L.
    Posted 03-05-2009 at 12:32 PM by michaell michaell is offline

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