Happy that I was selected among the 12 fine art photographers to follow 500px
The year was 1902. It was early March, and Alfred Stieglitz had just formed the Photo-Secession, an art movement for photographers. It was snowing in New York City, and Stieglitz and his colleagues were getting ready to open their first exhibition. They were a daring bunch, employing tools like darkroom manipulation and special lenses and filters to bring their visions to life. Their goal was simple: establish photography as a fine art in its own right—just like painting, drawing, or etching.
It’s been more than a century since that fateful night, and photography has since taken its rightful place in the history of fine art. But photographers today continue to push the limits of the craft, creating work that doesn’t reflect the “real world” so much as it envisions a new world, limited only by the contours of the artist’s imagination. Some use unconventional lenses, as the early pioneers did, while others have used photo-manipulation software to bring otherwise impossible scenes to life.
Whatever the technique, these artists remind us of the value of experimentation and creative risk-taking. With the rich and ever-expanding history of conceptual and fine art photography in mind, let’s explore just a few standouts from the 500px community, spanning genres such as portraiture, landscape, and even digital art.
A fine art portrait photographer with a background in psychology, Cristina Venedict has always been fascinated by people and their stories. Today, she’s recognized for her dreamy, ethereal aesthetic, citing her love for fashion as well as Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters like Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec among her inspirations. Her work, at times, reminds us of the Pictorialist photographers, such as Alfred Stieglitz and Gertrude Käsebier, who used soft-focus lenses or evocative lighting to create painterly, stand-out images. Cristina uses Lensbaby lenses, which are known for their creative effects.