Understanding the Art of Contemporary Photography
We live in a world that constantly produces images. Thanks to mobile phones with exceptional cameras, photography has become familiar and accessible. It no longer feels like a method but an extension of our gaze. Our phones can easily generate, transmit, edit, and archive images.
Photography no longer has a singular definition. It’s no longer a discipline but a process and contemporary photography is a subset of that.
What is Contemporary Photography
We must approach contemporary photography from an artistic standpoint to comprehend it. It is challenging to come up with a single definition because there are so many different artistic themes or subject matters, mediums, techniques, and styles.
Instead of defining it with a fixed meaning, it should be contemplated and explored. The term is most frequently used to describe the times we live in and is often confused with modern art.
While modern art is a departure from traditional styles, contemporary photography does not permanently adhere to a label on any image. It is a notion that evolves as time progresses and eras pass by and is a generalization of what the viewer can understand and value at that time.
History of Contemporary Photography
Compared to other artistic mediums, photography still has a young history. Since the creation of photography less than two centuries ago, there have been three primary movements.
In 1826, photography was first invented. Early pictures were more scientific and used new technology in experimentation. It took many years before artists began to use photography in innovative ways.
The oldest forms of creative photography are referred to as vintage photography. When photography was in its heyday between the late 1800s and the 1960s, vintage photography was swiftly followed by the modernist movement. Modern photography was followed by contemporary photography. Contemporary art does not have bookends that delineate a period from the beginning to end.
Nuances of Contemporary Photography
Contemporary photography can be summed up in three ways:
Influenced by the Progression of Time
Contemporary art is explicitly referred to as the art of today. It’s created by artists who are active in the present but are influenced by an era they’re inspired from. This holds true regardless of the artistic movement, style, or media they are a part of.
Conveys Thoughts of Modern Society
It is possible to consider society’s issues while seeing contemporary art and frequently reflect topics or ideals that are significant or widely debated currently. Topics include politics, spirituality, nationality, community, and identity.
Practices and aesthetic designs used in contemporary art express thoughts or concepts such as conceptual art. It crosses boundaries between what is traditionally seen as art and what is not and transcends the limitations of art.
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