A photographer is a person who creates an image of the world using a camera. Given that nowadays, everyone takes photographs with their smartphones, it is necessary to distinguish this mass flow of images from the work of fine art photographers who have an artistic intention and aim to create original artworks.

Thus we consider an fine art photograph to be a work that is created with artistic intention and includes a reflection on ideas and technique. Art photography must be an original work by an artist who recognises their role in the creation by signing their name. The concept of an original work is also linked to the limited edition. Generally, the fewer copies are made, the higher the price of each photograph.

All the photographic processes are based on two fundamental requirements, first of all the ability to capture an image and then capacity to fix image onto a support, rendering it visible. It took a lot of experimentation in order achieve this. The very first photograph dates from 1826 and was taken by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce. This photograph shows an image of his house and it took ten hours of exposure time to capture it. It was over ten years until the first photograph representing a human being was taken in 1838. It is an image of the Pont Neuf in Paris on which we can distinguish two passerbys. This photograph is the work of a former student of Nicéphore Niépce: Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. Daguerre gave his name to a new technique which consists of fixing a negative image onto a silver plate: the daguerreotype.

The next major breakthroughs were the replacement of the glass plate with dry gel on paper or film which allowed for a wider diffusion of photography and the appearance of colour photography at the beginning of the 20th century. All these techniques can be grouped together under the term analog photography. In the mid 20th century the invention of digital photography revolutionised the medium. It was a technical and artistic revolution, photographers could now see on a screen the image they had just captured and could adjust their shots accordingly and they could also take advantage of the infinite possibilities offered by computer retouching.

Photography is often broken down and classified into different groups including: fashion photography, nude photography, conceptual photography, colour photography, black and white photography, street art photography, and so on.

Some of the greatest photographers in history include: Robert Mapplethorpe, Li Wei, Bert Stern, Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier Bresson, Vivian Maier, Philippe Ramette, Bernard Pras, Steve McCurry, Richard Avedon, David LaChapelle, Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton and Martin Parr.

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