Stock vs Fine Art

Today I discovered another feature, that distinguishes between a stock photo and a fine art photo. I was visiting British photographer Nina Ludwig's digital photogallery and just had to stop to look at this photo. It's amazing, how much room there is left for imagination. You can't tell for sure, what you can see in reflections. Are people there, or houses? What is it?

That's fantastic. And I like those colors.

With stock photography it's all simple and clear. Wysiwyg. No mystery.

This is the product:

© Nejron

And this is you when you have it:

© Raycan
© Studio

Simple and clear.

But fine art is different. Artist always comes to halfway, the rest is left to be done by you. Implicit information, unsaid words, allusions and hints make an art enjoyable. Or just - make an art.

What do you think?

Photo credits: Suprijono Suharjoto, Ilya Terentyev, Mary Katherine Wynn, Katarina Von Eckardstein, Maxfx, Nejron, Pemotret, Raycan, Studio Dream, Piotr Majka.

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June 25, 2008


I think you are right.
Stock photos are simple and clear,but fine art is complicated and ambiguous.

October 22, 2007


Hey, Tangie, glad to see you too! I'm going to have stronger and stronger suspicions that although you don't have any photos online, you have some secret hidden corner, where you are hiding all of them, loads of them. Or, ok, maybe they are not photos, paintings perhaps? Or pile of unfinished books waiting for final touch? Or what is it? There must be something. You just don't manage well to hide your artist's soul... :) (ETA: I had to correct my poor choice of words to give an intended meaning.) Anyway, I'm always happy to talk to you. But today I got Sarah McLachlan's CD and three photography books... so, now I'm going officially offline for some time............................................. :) Life is beautiful, even when it's not! PS: What is your favorite image?

October 22, 2007


Maigi, yeyyyyyy, Maigi. Where's my favourite image?
Don't get me started on fine art, implicit information, unsaid words allusions and hints.I'll never stop. Good to see you around nevertheless.

October 22, 2007


Good point. Stock photos are just tools or means to draw attention to the main object. Would it be a product, service, idea or something else. They are never main objects themselves. But art photo have to carry its own meaning, it has to catch all the attention. The better it does it, the best art it is. That's why it's much more difficult to sell, I think. You have to have fresh ideas, new approaches (wow! I like that new spell check feature, what underlines all my spelling mistakes, great!!!), unique viewpoints to catch buyers attention. It's hard to do, cause there's so much talented artists among humankind... :) Thanks for your comment!

October 21, 2007


You are right. But remember, making money out of art photography is much more difficult than stock. My opinion.

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