With the advent of smartphones, nearly everyone has access to a camera at all times – literally billions of photos are captured everyday. North Bristol Artist Paul Bullivant explains how Fine Art Photography stands apart from casual snapping.

“Like many broadly creative activities, photography has many objectives, forms and styles. It can often be, and most usually is, representational. That is a means of recording a scene as in photo-journalism or documentary photography, and includes most of the many millions of photographs taken every day on smart phones. Perhaps the most pure form of representational photography is technical, scientific or medical photography.

Paul Bullivant

Image by Paul Bullivant

In fine-art photography, also referred to as photographic art, the camera is used as a tool by an artist to express a creative vision. Unlike representational photography which strives to be objective, recording what the camera sees, fine-art photography is concerned with the subjective vision of the artist using photography as a means of expression.

Paul Bullivant

However, as in most creative media, the boundaries between the objectives, forms and styles can be fluid and sometimes the representational aspect of the photographic medium can be used by the artist as a mean of personal expression. This is increasingly the case with fashion and advertising photography. Conversely, the imaginative representational photographer can imbue an apparently mundane scene with his or her vision and can thus transport it into the realm of fine art photography.”

Image by Paul Bullivant