When Photography Becomes Art

Posted by Rachael Towne on

When photography combines with art, the creativity bursts out to the viewer’s eye. Art speaks to the viewer and individual person. Photography captured through the many variations of angles and lighting entices the viewer. Combine the two and the powerful message along with the perfect shot results in a masterpiece.

Art Wolfe is a photographer to watch, with 40 years in the industry, Wolfe proves photography can be shot differently and brilliantly with every new location and scenery thrust upon him, urging to be explored and captured.

His rapt sheet is extraordinary, including: 

  • Wolfe is the host of the award-winning television series “Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge.” 
  • Wolfe has released over 80 books.
  • Wolfe has received Nature's Best Photographer of the Year Award, the North American Nature Photography Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Photographic Society of America’s Progress Medal. 

Let's take a look into Wolfe's photography art:

 Tip: Experiment with your angles for a great shot

Combining photography with art.

© Art Wolfe

This picture would have looked amazing front on, with the boats coming forward. Adding the bright colors and wooden boats. But by taking a different view point and photo of a close-up aerial shot, the photo captures the vibrant colors of what’s on board, the wooden vessels and the merchant’s sun hats. The photograph is now not just a photo of the action, it’s a moment stopped in time.

Tip: Don’t get stuck in a niche

Rust wall photo

© Art Wolfe

A far cry from nature and human interest, this photograph by Wolfe showcases art form from a rusty boat hull. Something easily ignored yet this photograph makes this rusty exterior look breathtaking.

Creative people feel that to be classed as an expert they need to be an expert in a niche. The truth is, as a creative you need to explore your talents freely and do what makes your heart sing. It is always a good idea from the get go to allow yourself some movement in photography. Do this by not solely choosing one direction, which might take your dream, into a dream that in the future makes you feel trapped.

Wolfe has four different key interests in photography and masters all of them exceedingly well. I believe, the main reason his photography is majestic in all of his areas of interests is, because he doesn't hold back from his creative passion. Can you imagine if Wolfe only shot in only one of his interested photography genres? The other three, would never be captured through his eye.

 Tip: Use the subtles of color to create the mood of your shot

Purple snow photo

© Art Wolfe

With the mauve, yellow tinge and pink hues, this photograph, looks enchanting and enticing. Nobody would guess the pyramids are salt pyramids. Because salt is known to be white, which these salt pyramids are, except for this moment in time as the sun rises. What I enjoy about this photo are the colors creating the mood, by capturing the perfect moment the colors from the sun, sky and water come together to create this masterpiece. If this photograph was taken five minutes earlier, the photograph may not have been as spectacular. What mood do you want to create for your photograph? Ensure you keep snapping until all the colors in the photo create the feeling you want to evoke.

 Tip - Focus on the elements for the perfect shot

Beautiful landscape photography

© Art Wolfe

The multi-layer colors of the rocks and the sheen clearness and stillness of the water with reflections of the mountain are out of this world. With the sun rays caught by the clouds, this photograph is truly a masterpiece. Taken at Mount Robson and Berg Lake in Canada. Wolfe stating, "Standing at 3,954 meters, Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. It is by far one of the most impressive sights in British Columbia that I have had the chance to photograph." ~ Wolfe.

With 40 years of photographs of the world, Wolfe has created his Earth is My Witness Book, Seminars, Presentations and Exhibitions, showcasing his photography and stories. 

“Images of Earth Is My Witness are the culmination of Art’s pursuits — the instants when circumstance, light and subject all miraculously collide to form an iconic photograph.” ~ Wolfe.

Tip - Use human form to create art 

Using human form to create photographic art

© Art Wolfe

This photo embraces innocence, art and a mystery into how another part of the world lives. Tribal communities are enriched with stories, exploration and culture. The art has come to life in this picture, quite literally. 

“If you look closely, you will see a direct progression from the work I have done earlier in tribal communities, where spots, lines, and textures play heavily into the ornamental decoration that remote peoples use during celebrations.” ~ Wolfe.

Did you find this piece inspiring? Please like and share it. 


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