I ask folk to return to post # 30 which deals with the dismissal of "Fine Art" going beyond Will Thompson's opening salvo, albeit with valid complaints about use of terms like, "Fine Art" to charge more for high end papers.
My own interest here is to offer that Fine Art is a practical term that applies to a part of highly rewarding photography, considered by galleries, museums and collectors to be exceptional in their class. So "Fine Art Photography" is a really valuable and clear concept and if we visit galleries and museums in any modern city, we can will discover firsthand the range of the kind of work against which we'd need to compete.
Again, let me point out the potential rewards for the very few who might succeed in selling in this market. More discretionary wealth is spent on art than any other category. Photography, (from small classic well-known favorites to newer and much larger wall pieces), are in ever increasing demand. So while it might sound easy fun being dismissive to the term "Fine Art" as being pretentious, vague, self-designated and even false, in practical terms, what's sold as the best photographic art is indeed unusually admirable and rare often in craft, style, vision or all three. One can belong to a chuckling self-reinforcing society of Aristotelian logicians, mocking the term to dismiss "Fine Art" as hypocritical nonsense. Then one is ignoring one of the most massively voracious new markets for skilled photographers with a personal conviction of their own vision and the rare fortune to be successful.
I know more than a few here who could compete in this rare field under the right circumstances. If you can make the equivalent in a photographic print 1/10 of the power and uniqueness of Scythian Gold, then you will succeed in selling your photography in the finest of galleries. Anything in that class is Photographic Fine Art!
In short, Will Thompson is in error! The term "Fine Art Photography" is neither a misnomer nor hypocritical. Doug in being careful logical and therefore, dismissive is also mistaken on this very rare occasion.
Rather, the relevance, meaning, value and provenance of "Fine Art" is apparent only in the successful end result of a long and arduous but focussed journey. It's one started with an imagination and compelling idea. This then is photographically transformed, the real and the imagined, to a print, something physical, that has to breathe and find its place and compete. It must be appreciated by others, providing such a unique experience, that the picture compels being revisited and drawing admirers. The ultimate success in its arrival in a prestigious art gallery or museum requires nothing more than hard work, devotion, originality, persistance, talent, self-worth, community support and also good fortune. All these characteristics, even the last one, "good fortune", are within reach of photographers, potentially no different than more than a few photographers here.
My object in replying at such length, and in such stubborn seriousness, is that I believe in the talent and capabilities of a number of posters here. Yes, it's beyond most of us, but let's not be dismissive of the entire process as hypocritical just because it's hard, inexact, unfair or lacks transparency.
Of course, there's risk in investing so much effort in making photography to sell as Fine Art. The grower of corn can always sell although the price may fluctuate according to demand. This doesn't hold with art as it has no utilitarian function other than working on people's psyche. Unfortunately some of the finest photography can be ignored if fashion, taste, access and timing are not lined up with the stars!
In short, if getting into a major gallery is your goal, then if we can help add a little light in your path, we'll do it, but most of it is up to you.