What Is a Contemporary Photography?

Are you one of those people thinking what contemporary photography is? You may already have a good idea of what photography means in your regular life. However, in this post we will explain what exactly contemporary photography is.

This guide explores the answer to what contemporary photography is, its purpose, the common subjects utilized in this photography, and more. If you’re ready to find out more, let’s dive in!

Contemporary Photography Definition

The term contemporary photography can cause some misunderstandings. A few people often think about something happening right now when they hear the word contemporary. Nonetheless, that would also mean something different from a 20-year old than an 80-year old.

Other individuals believe that a contemporary photographer is someone who is alive and producing. Even if an artist stops creating art, it does not indicate that the artwork they did yesterday isn’t contemporary.

In a nutshell, contemporary photography is a category encompassing fine art photography made after the late 1960s—the time when modern photography concluded. Remember that art history makes categories to study and evaluate various art manifestations.

Those categories might be based on the discipline such as sculpture, photography, or painting, styles such as pop art or impressionist, or a time period like contemporary or modern art.

What Is the Purpose of Contemporary Photography?

You see, contemporary art entails ant artwork—whether it is painting, sculpture, video, and performance, among others made in the past several decades up until the present day. One of the purposes of contemporary photography is to provoke and stimulate a reaction or response from the viewer instead of motivating a basic observation.

A few contemporary photographs integrate techniques and approaches that used to be incorrect by photographers. A contemporary photo might have blurred focus, unusual subject matter, or over-saturation.

Sometimes, that offers the photo a sense of rawness. Further, that comes down to what the photographer is trying to say with their work.

What Are the Common Subjects in Contemporary Photography?

There are many subjects often utilized in contemporary photography. These include the following:

  • Vernacular
  • Underwater
  • Time-lapse
  • Street
  • Still life
  • Portrait
  • Polaroid-type
  • Photo collage or photo Montag
  • Performance
  • Nudes
  • Nature
  • Night
  • Narrative
  • Memory
  • Scientific
  • Landscape
  • Glamour
  • Fashion
  • Documentary
  • Constructed environments
  • Conceptual
  • Space or Astro
  • Architectural
  • Aerial
  • Abstract

What Are the Types of Contemporary Photography?

The contemporary movement is in a continuous state of refinement and evolution, and the development is ruled by the continuous march of technology. In its infancy, contemporary art featured subjects and settings like what modern photographs capture. Those include candid portraits, still-life, and buildings.

That later on changed to encompass an array of styles and sub-genres. Contemporary photography now readily includes architectural, landscape, abstract, and even camera-less photography, to name a few. Photojournalism and photo documentary are sub-genres that are the most common as those depict subjects and images that are pressing and in the now.

Why Photography Is a Contemporary Art?

When photography was first invented, it was perceived as both a threat to fine art and not accepted as a part of it. On top of it, it has taken nearly a century for photography to be completely respected and accepted as a kind of contemporary fine art. For many years, photography was captive at arm’s length on the margins of the contemporary art world.

Today, photography is valued and has become a vital part of contemporary art. Modern photography and contemporary photography are both widely displayed and exhibited in art galleries and art museums.

What Are Contemporary Photography Examples

Here are some of the typical contemporary photography artists:

David Lachapelle

David is an American photographer taking inspiration from art and paintings and applying it to fashion photography. He is a popular artist whose modern images have been exhibited in museums and art galleries across the globe.

Anne Gedes

Are you one of those who assume family photographs cannot have contemporary new perspectives? Then you must check out Anne Geddes’ gallery. She is an Australian photographer who is based in New York. She has won many prizes and also entered the International Photographic Hall of Fame, along with her masterpieces that feature newborn babies.

Katrina Yu

Digital photography is not a mandatory method, but most photographers utilize it for capturing images, which could be eventually changed using Photoshop. That is the case of Katrina Yu, who creates a reality for her self-portraits.

Apart from her persona projects, Yu’s fantasy style also appeals to a lot of commercial clients.

Zelco Nedic

Keep in mind that contemporary photography is not just about using new technology. Other fantastic artists like Zelco Nedic utilize a method from an earlier period which is known as wet collodion. He even paints on the print as part of the entire post-processing.

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, a lot of collectors love and enjoy contemporary photography and love viewing original photography. You can buy original or unique contemporary photography in an online art gallery or a reliable crypto art marketplace.

Keep in mind that contemporary photography is more than just a style or genre. Instead, it is an expression and concept of the artist at that particular moment—captured and immortalized in photography. Also, it is a movement for the pioneers and those who are not afraid to think outside the box.

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