Contemporary, Conceptual Photography

The following are excerpts from various articles, which I also  provide links to. There has been some discussion about this subject and how it could be encouraged, maybe in camera clubs.  For some there is a desire for their photographic journey to stretch them creatively, to go in another direction and learn new skills along the way. Could this be a route, read more and maybe you will be inspired or stimulated to try new concepts?

I am considering another Exercise for those interested! Time to perhaps get political lots of inspiration out there!

There is a perception, by some, who feel that there is not “anyone working at a high or even mediocre level” in this genre or indeed in any genre, there are thought to be very few high calibre photographers in this area at all!  Are such statements productive or encouraging? I believe the concept for the forming, of what has become Dynamic Range, and our statement of intent, was “to try to “think outside the box” learn and perfect both our capture and processing skills to produce quality photographic images that we are proud to showcase but primarily just to enjoy taking and sharing our images. So with my positive attitude, I invite you to read and inwardly digest some of the following!  Let’s show ourselves that there is talent but it just might be we are “hiding our light under a bushel”

What is Conceptual Photography?

Conceptual photography would refer to work that is preconceived (rather than spontaneous) and contains ideas that can be retrieved and understood by the viewer.

Conceptual photography is often very imaginative. It seems unreal. Often reality in the photos is distorted, and what you know as normal, is completely changed. Then there are also some people who are doing things that aren’t as imaginative. They are changing some things, or exaggerating reality to a lesser degree.

Conceptual photography is about work that starts with a concept or an idea. In many instances, photography normally starts with an image or a place. You go out somewhere that you think will be interesting and take photos. Once you get home you put the photos on your computer, and for a lot of people, that is all besides some basic post-processing. There is nothing wrong with working that way, but conceptual photography starts out differently.

In conceptual photography you start with an idea, or the concept, of what you want to do. At this stage you start working out what you want your final image to be about. You are working in the dark so to speak, as you won’t know the final result until you have processed it.

The RPS definition:

Conceptual and Contemporary: photography which explores, defines, illustrates or evaluates issues through photographic images.

Source Magazine

The term ‘conceptual photography’ is now widely used but may describe quite different things. Is it a movement, a working methodology, a historical tradition or none of these?

Links to articles on the subject and Artists creating work in the Genre, there is a lot of “Arty Bollocks” but still lots of interest


Digital Photography School



Renee Robyn

Brooke Shaden

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