What’s the perfect subject for a Fine Art photograph? Well, to me it can be anything and everything.
Take this image for example. I was walking along and saw a feather on the ground. I picked it up, held it between me and the sun, and using a 50mm macro lens took a close up shot. It works because the pattern of light and shade is interesting, and because it’s not entirely clear that you’re looking at a feather. Some people have thought it was a ploughed field.
This is a cobweb. It was built by an enterprising spider between my car door and my door mirror. Once again I used a macro lens and was able to throw the background, of water droplets on my door mirror, out of focus. I like the contrast between light and dark, and also the contrast of the carefully made radial lines and more random concentric lines.
Sometimes it’s a simple thing like the sun playing on water that makes a great Fine Art image. This pattern of lines, a bit like those on an oscilloscope, were on the sandy bed of a small stream near the sea. The sun shining through the irregular water surface was getting refracted which gave the pattern. It was changing all the time, and you could take a hundred images and get a different one each time. It was great for creative photography.
This image uses the reflectivity of a water surface rather than its transparency. It’s of the oily water in the Venice Lagoon, and shows how pollution can produce great images. I shot it from a vaporetto whilst everyone else was looking at the fabulous buildings. Again the changing water surface made every image different. The conversion to black and white made it simpler.
This final image is an enigma. I don’t ever explain what it is, but let people use their imagination and come with their own ideas. It’s often thought to have been taken, “under the sea, with lots of red seaweed”, but also has been described as, “looking across a river valley to a forest”. It’s neither, and really shows just how complex an image can be made from a simple activity/thing.
So there you have it; a feather, a cobweb, a stream, polluted water – and a mystery. You don’t need to find exotic subjects for Fine Art images, just look around you.
Remember, we’re at Coleshill Open Day and Food Festival on Sep 11th. We’re part of the Arts and Crafts displays in The Granary. Do come and have a chat about portrait photography and photography training.