I can almost say that I am allergic to the term ‘fine art photography’ as it is being used by so many photographers, especially in India, and it is therefore very difficult for me to even hint that my own work can be defined as ‘fine art’. I see so many people with cameras taking pictures of colorful doorways and old locks and calling it ‘my art’ that I would absolutely not want to have anything to do with this definition of art, nor would I want to exhibit my work alongside such works of reproduction.
A quick look at wikipedia tells us that “Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, which provides visual support for stories, mainly in the print media, and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to sell products or services.”
The problem of definition
The dictionary recognizes that there are no universally-accepted definitions of the related terms “art photography,” “artistic photography,” and “fine art photography”, and so in reality, being the photographer’s ‘creative vision’ that we are talking about, if you call yourself a photographer you might as well be an artist! Everyone has a point of view and once it is framed and hung on a wall who will stop him from calling it art?
To be honest to everyone, there are a few serious galleries in Delhi, as well as in other cities in India, showing the works of some really fine photographers who’s work I respect and admire. To mention a few, PhotoInk, Tasveer, Nature Morte and Vadhera gallery are very serious venues curated by people who really know what they look at in terms of photography and art. I would love to show my work there when I feel I have something to show.
Being an ‘art photographer’ is very hip in Delhi now, and galleries open up in malls and shopping centers, catering for a growing middle class who knows nothing about art but has money to buy. This, in combination with the digital photography age that enables everyone to shoot without thinking has brought the market to this point. There are good sides to this development of course, as it is a step in the right direction and hopefully people will slowly be educated in the history of art and learn how to appreciate it. There are a lot of photo exhibitions happening in Delhi in the last few years and this by itself is a great thing, so not all is bad.
Here are a few B&W images from the woods in Chhattisgarh that I photographed last week. It was a commercial assignment, believe it or not, but it didn’t feel like one. I spent two hours in the forest early in the morning and came out with these. Looking at them I really felt for a moment that I wouldn’t mind printing them and putting them up on my wall. Would that make it fine art?
Fine Art Prints
If you like any of the images: Fine Art Prints Size: 12×18″ (30x45cm) and 16×24″ (40x60cm) | signed limited edition | archival paper | From the series Chhattisgarh Woods are available for purchase with or without frame. Please contact me by email for details and price.