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Expert Guide to Appreciate Photography as an Art Form

Margot McCallion July 20 2022

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Art lovers today are able to appreciate the subjective, visual value that can be captured by a camera. This article will act as a guide to discovering art in the form of photography and how to purchase pieces which transcend the debate of photography as an art form.

Since the invention of the first camera, the art community has debated whether photography as a medium is an art or a science. Many favor traditional forms of fine art and struggle with the objectivity and replicability of photographs. Pair this controversy with the modern advancements in technology that have exponentially increased accessibility to practicing photography, and we are left with an oversaturated supply of photographers and a market that finds it difficult to value photographs as art. Nevertheless, art lovers today are still able to appreciate the subjective, visual value that can be captured by a camera. This article will act as a guide to discovering art in the form of photography and how to purchase pieces which transcend the debate of photographs as art.

When collecting photography pieces, there are rather logical analytics to take into consideration. This process can be divided into two ideas, the first being the photograph and the second being the print. Evaluating both the photograph and the print can justify an investment in terms of price point the artist is selling for and the creative value the piece can provide.

Quantitative aspects to consider regarding the photograph include the reputation of the artist, the meaning behind the photograph, and the visual power of the image. These considerations can be made better by an art lover who immerses themselves in the art community, and photography culture through galleries, museums, books and online. This experience generates an instinctual eye that can distinguish between varying degrees of visual power in an image. Artistic instincts can also be useful in predicting the future success of young artists who may have not had the chance to develop their reputation yet.

In regards to the physical print, the size and materials are most important to take note of. In the same vein, the reproducibility of the photo is important in terms of monetary value. One should research the history of the piece to determine whether the print is considered an original. The first 30 prints are considered original, and the time between when the photograph was taken and the first print further contributes to value. If you are searching for a good investment, purchase photographs that are less reproducible and originals.

Whether you are an art lover looking to add photography to your collection, or just starting out, this guide can act as a launchpad into discovering photographs and their artistic value. Since photography is a more contemporary medium for art, developing an eye for value in these images is a critical skill in purchasing photographs to curate and invest in your collection.

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