MOF | Glossary of Art Terms
This perpetually growing glossary is for those who dare try to communicate by or understand artspeak, which just about adds up to a whole other language.
2D Art | Two-dimensional visual art that is largely produced in a flattened medium (e.g., drawings, paintings, photography). Despite its nomenclature 3D or three-dimensional digital illustration and graphics (often confused with 3D art) are associated with 2D art when produced, typically through printing, in flattened physical medium.
3D Art | Three-dimensional visual art that is rendered with three-dimensional physical structure (e.g., pottery, sculpture, models, machines, toys, woodwork, etc.).
Abstract Art | Artwork (see Art) that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality (see Subject) but instead uses shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.
Adventure Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of advertising photography (see Advertising Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product), and closely related to travel (see Travel Photography) and other photography (see Photography) styles and genres. It is much more self-explanatory than abstract (see Abstract Art and Subject) photography (see Abstract Photography). This type of photography captures images of adventures, usually those that are outdoors, featuring extraordinary landscape views, adventurous people, and challenging conditions to photograph in due to accessibility to particular locations and changing weather conditions.
Advertising Photography | A subgroup or style (see Art Style) of commercial photography (see Commercial Photography) that includes photographic images of sale goods, portraits and anything used in brochures, direct mail fliers, clothes, cups, newspaper ads, magazine ads, at conventions and trade shows, on Internet banners and web sites, bus and taxi ads, billboards, other promotional modes, music CD’s, CD covers and lyrics sheets, etc. Advertising photography includes various genres (see Art Genre) that are also niche products (see Niche Product) that satisfy the needs of specific factions that promote ideas, skills, talents, services or other things to certain other factions that may have specific interests in those ideas, skills, talents, services or other things (see Editorial Photography).
Aesthetic | An individual perception of beauty and “taste (see Artistic Taste)” which may be shared by a social group that happens to also share the same or similar social mores and cultural preferences (i.e., in the late 1930’s, Nazi Germany instituted a social and intellectual attack on and ban of modern art; perceived to be “degenerate art”, as modern art was created by and inspired free individual thinking and experimentation).
Aleatoricism | In art, it is the inclusion of happenstance into the creative process of artwork. To propose an example by this ultra-simplified meaning; when street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson captured his famous image of Place de l’Europe Gare Saint Lazare (1932) — often referred to by names along the lines on “Man Jumping Over Puddle”, Henri had absolutely no idea that he was making that composition at the decisive moment that he pressed his shutter release. He simply placed the lens of his camera up against a hole in the fence behind the train station, and pressed the release while leaving it completely up to chance that something wonderful might have happened. It could, therefore, be said that his creation of the image was aleatoric.
Alternative Exhibition Space | Any location used for the public exhibition of artwork other than a traditional commercial venue such as an art gallery (see Art Gallery), salon (see Salon) or museum (see Museum). Alternative exhibition spaces can be edifices, landmarks or landscapes that have been transformed from other uses such as warehouses, factory lofts, cinema lobbies, store fronts, parks and other terrains.
Ambient Light | (a.k.a.: “available light”) Any natural or artificial light that a photographer or cinematographer does not bring to a shoot. Depending on the particular budgetary, creative and practical needs of a production, this “extra” light may be positive or negative.
Aperture | A hole or an opening through which light travels. More specifically, the aperture and focal length of an optical system, such as a camera, determine the cone angle of a bundle of rays that come to a focus in the image plane.
The lens aperture n a camera is usually specified as an f-number, the ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter. A lens typically has a set of marked “f-stops” that the f-number can be set to. A lower f-number denotes a greater aperture opening which allows more light to reach the film or image sensor. The photography term “one f-stop” refers to a factor of √2 (approx. 1.41) change in f-number, which in turn corresponds to a factor of 2 change in light intensity. Typical ranges of apertures used in photography are about f/2.8 – f/22 or f/2 – f/16, covering six f-stops, which may be divided into wide, middle and narrow of two stops each, roughly (using round numbers) f/2 – f/4, f/4 – f/8, and f/8 – f/16 or (for a slower lens) f/2.8 – f/5.6, f/5.6 – f/11, and f/11 – f/22. These are not sharp divisions, and ranges for specific lenses vary.
Applied Art | Visual art that includes industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.
Architectural Photography | (a.k.a.: “building photography”, “real estate photography”, “real structure photography”) A genre (see Art Genre) of advertising photography (see Advertising Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product).
Archival Print | A museum quality fine art reproduction of 2D art. Such prints use the finest quality papers and inks designed to resist color fading. Drawings and paintings are reproduced using a fine art printer with exceptionally high resolution (see Giclée Print).
Archival Print | A gallery (see Art Gallery) or museum (see Museum) quality fine art (see Fine Art) reproduction of 2D art (see 2D Art). Such prints use fine quality papers and inks designed to resist color fading for decades; potentially up to 100 years. Drawings, paintings and photography (see Photography) are reproduced using a fine art printer with exceptionally high resolution on environmentally sustainable papers that contain tree fibre, 25-100% cotton base or a polyester-base “canvas”. They are often termed as being of “archival quality (see Giclée Print and Museum Print).”
Art | (a.k.a.: “artwork”) The act or outcome of creating a visual product or performance in order to express a concept or technical skill, with aesthetic or emotive impact. The word is often inaccurately used by purists to refer to work that is legitimate and respectable by people who believe they have “good taste (see Artistic Taste and High Art)”. Although the conception and production of artwork usually does embody a closeness to God, the result actually does not have to be appreciated by the masses or the social elite who think they know best. Art can be quite controversial, and even arrantly disappointing (see Vulgar). What constitutes art is entirely subjective.
To quote Marshall McLuhan initially, and subsequently Andy Warhol, “Art is anything you can get away with.”
Art Collector | Any person or faction who buys art for aesthetic (see Aesthetic) appreciation and/or investment reasons; regardless of actual or perceived social or economic stature.
Art Community | A social group of people, potential businesses and other associations of any size sharing an avid intellectual and potentially business interest in the creation and promotion of art.
Art Elements | The seven fundamental units of design used in the overall composition of visual artwork that include colour, value, line, shape, form, texture, and space.
Art Exhibit | A work of art (see Art) put on display within an exhibition (see Art Exhibition). Artwork, work, piece, and exhibit are all different words used to describe the exact same thing.
A specific exhibit that is so large and or complex that it requires being installed in an environment that will be used as an exhibition space, of which the relation of its components to its whole is important to the interpretation of the art piece and is meant to change the perception of the space it is in, is called an installation. Technically, it is still an exhibit.
Art Exhibition | The physical space or event itself in which artwork (see Art) is displayed to either the general public or a private audience invited to see the work. It has become commonplace to refer to exhibitions as simply exhibits but technically, an exhibit (see Art Exhibit) is different.
Art Form | Either the physical representation of a creatively expressed idea through a medium (e.g., a bronze sculpture or choreographed modern jazz dance) or a non-physical representation (e.g., a song or electronic game).
Art Gallery | (a.k.a.: “art museum [see Museum]” and “contemporary art gallery”) A building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum’s own collection. It might be in public or private ownership (see Regulated Space), as opposed to a space of no definitive ownership (see Alternative Exhibition Space), and may be accessible to all or have restrictions in place. Although primarily concerned with visual art (see Visual Art), art galleries are often used as a venue for other cultural exchanges and artistic activities, such as performance arts (see Performance Art), music concerts or poetry readings. Art museums also frequently host themed temporary exhibitions which often include items on loan from other collections.
Art Genre | A set of similar or clearly differing artistic styles (see Art Style) that are loosely relied on to plan and arrange the aesthetic elements in imagery.
Artisan | A skilled worker that uses his or her hands to make something often functional or that will enhance something else; furniture, gold leafing, decorative arts (like faux finishes), jewelers, upholstery, embroidery, glassblowers, leather workers (like shoemakers), potters, weavers. Bakers are also included and pushing the limits of the term are cheesemakers and beer makers.
Artist | Any novice or master, amateur or professionalperson (as opposed to the term “creative [see Creative (as opposed to artist)]”) who engages inone or more activities involved with creating, practicing or demonstrating an art but not to be confused with an artiste (see Artiste).
Artiste | A professional entertainer, especially a singer or dancer; not to be confused with an artist (see Artist).
Artistic Expression | The conscious use of the imagination in the production of artwork.
Artistic Taste | A subjective ability, that by coincidence may be shared by others, to be attracted to specific artistic (see Art) endeavours, accomplishments and natural things, to identify the constituent elements in such art and things that inspire the attraction, and to recognize the aesthetics (see Aesthetic) in such art and things that also contribute to the attraction.
Artist’s Morgue | (a.k.a.: “art morgue”) A variant of the original police investigators morgue file that is kept by, usually, a visual artist for storing photographs, magazine clippings, writings, and graphics in case they become useful later as quick reference material for inspiration. Artist’s morgues have historically been made from scrapbooks, sketch and drawing pads, filing cabinet folders and virtually any other lightweight physical material that could be used to contain the reference items. They are extremely useful to both commercial and fine artists. Online social media repositories like Pinterest, that are designed to enable the discovery and saving of information on the World Wide Web, are basically contemporary digital versions of the artist’s morgue.
Artist’s Portfolio | A collection of an artist’s best work that is used to show employers and art galleries, although the latter less commonly, an artist’s creative versatility or depth in a specific area of work (e.g., fields of illustration, fine art painting, fine art photography, etc.). Portfolios are sometimes mistakenly referred to as artists’ bodies of work (see Body of Work) which are even more edited collections featuring pieces of artwork that are unified in aesthetics and or subject matter. Although rarely, portfolios are also confused with oeuvres (see Oeuvre) which are collections of artists’ lifetimes of work. Artist’s portfolios were originally examples of original or reproduced artwork contained in a booklet or a specially designed briefcase. As artwork is often digitized or originally digital in the modern computer era for displaying online or other means of communication and advertising, they are often added to what are called electronic portfolios or online portfolios. Within the arts industry, there are varied portfolios with specific names for various types of artists and designers, and there are other types of portfolios that are commonly used outside of the arts industry.
Art Media | The material (e.g., graphite, inks, paints, ink solvents, paint solvents, gesso, varnishes, etc.) used by an artist, composer, or designer to create artwork.
Art Movement | A fine art style or propensity to create work with a specific passionate philosophy or aim that is shared by a group of artists who have collectively published a written manifesto, and acquired considerable public recognition within a limited time period, (potentially spanning from a short as a few months [e.g., Vorticism] to as long as a few decades [e.g., Expressionism]) or during a period of years in which the movement is historically and socially viewed as most inspiring or influential (the official names of art movements are always spelled with a capitalized first letter in literature).
Art Patronage | A tradition of art procurement in the Renaissance Era; a client or customer of an artist may become a patron by making financial donations towards artwork under development through an art patronage contract. Art patrons may continue to donate until they can afford the artwork they have chosen. During the period of donation, patrons can make appointments to visit the studio of an artist and be able to claim a non-commissioned work-in-progress as a future purchase. Patrons also have the option to increase their donations in order to pay for artwork in full at any time. Contemporary art patronage includes online membership platforms like Patreon. Membership in online art patronage services involve financial investment by both artists and potential patrons. If an artist is unable to quickly acquire and sustain patrons, then membership may not be economically suitable for the artist.
Art Principles | The use or arrangement of art elements through perspective, proportion (scale), pattern, rhythm (movement), balance, unity or emphasis.
Art Program | An arrangement and process of instructing, managing or promoting a group of artists and their artwork.
Art Project | An artistically creative endeavor like the production of an art series.
Art Series | An art project (see Art Project) generally consisting of 8 to 12 associated pieces of fine art (there are no restrictions in size; a series can include more or less pieces of artwork).
Artspeak | An obscure, esoteric and even pretentious jargon used to discuss art and artistic things. Memorizing every term in this glossary, and needlessly regurgitating a lot of them in common dialogue at a moment’s notice with just about anyone victimized into hearing it is using artspeak.
Art Style | The values ascribed or aesthetics achieved in imagery as a result of using specific techniques. A signature style or the occasional use of one that is not recognizable in the work or an artist (see Artist) are important to fine art (see Fine Art) collectors (see Art Collector).
Artsy | Someone, usually, or something that may be genuinely or pretentiously interested in or connected to the arts or art life, or even is art but also makes an exaggerated display of showing their artistic connection or importance. Such people and things are also sometimes referred to as “artsy-fartsy”. An example of an artsy person is someone who may genuinely draw, paint, or play a musical instrument but tries too hard to show that they are an artist or part of some artistic social entity by speaking and dressing in ways that are stereotypical of that group or community of artists and collectors but are not necessarily true of that faction. An example of an artsy thing is artwork that is made in a style that is far too closely copied from a popular artist. An example of an artsy thing to do is going to an exhibition or auction of the late David Bowie’s visual art collection while dressing the same as or like how Bowie had been seen dressed in public. Artsy people and things are often also arty (see Arty).
Arty | Someone or something that is all about pretending to have or show artistic significance. An example of an arty person is someone who does not create, collect, spend quality time regarding or truly promoting anything artistic but is always ready to engage others in artspeak (see Artspeak) and namedropping of notables in art communities, in order to test others to see and reveal how disconnected or unknowledgeable about the artworld others may be. An example of an arty thing is a framed sheet of paper on which a single miniscule drop of ink or paint was deliberately (which requires extremely little, if any, applied artistic conceptualization and skill in its creation) or accidentally dropped on, and displayed as though it is artwork. An example of an arty thing to do is buying artwork just because it was once owned by at least one other famous person instead of purchasing the artwork because of a genuinely deep appreciation for the artwork.
Assignment Photography | Photography that is produced as a result of a person or other faction requesting them to be produced by a photographer. Such work is often – not always, produced professionally under some form of written agreement between a photographer and a client. A photographer may also create their own photography assignment in order to produce self-promotional work for some form of portfolio, website, or competition, or for more commercial purposes such as stock photography. It is easy to divide assignment photography into the two subgroups of commercial photography (see Commercial Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography).
Avant-Garde Art | Artwork that is the result of experimentation and unconventional social, cultural, intellectual, and creative thinking (often preferred in high-end fine art [see Fine Art and High Art]).
Aviation Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) that is closely related to adventure (see Adventure Photography), that is often produced as a niche product (see Niche Product). Used in both advertising (see Advertising Photography) and editorial (see Editorial Photography) work as well as sought after as fine art (see Fine Art), the subject (see Subject) matter includes all forms of aircraft, in whole or in part, airborne or grounded, their aesthetics (see Aesthetic), performance, the various environments they can be in, their history and the people who work with them.
Occasionally, aviation photography includes the use of human models.
Backlight | Any light source that comes from behind a subject. Backlighting, however, is a more general term, and can be used to describe a broad range of lighting from rim-light to a “kicker” light.
Balance | How the elements of art (line, shape, color, value, space, form, texture) relate to each other within the composition in terms of their visual weight to create visual equilibrium. That is, one side does not seem heavier than another.
Beefcake Photography | A fine art (see Fine Art) photography genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is sometimes a niche product (see Niche Product). The styles of erotic (see Erotic Photography), boudoir (see Boudoir Photography), pinup (see Pinup Photography) and dudeoir (see Dudedoir Photography), and nude (see Nude) genre, are frequently applied in varying degrees to create glamorous images of men with athletic or robust physiques. A brother style of glamour (see Glamour Photography), beefcake photography emphasizes the physical attractiveness of a model, and treats a model; not just his body, as an object of sexual or even romantic desire by displaying them naked, semi-nude, or even fully clothed without depicting actual or simulated sexual acts. It is intended to be sexually or romantically suggestive or provocative. The fundamental differences between beefcake and dudeoir is that beefcake uses professional male models for editorial work (see Editorial Photography) whereas dudeoir features amateur male subjects (see Subject) mainly for personal interests.
Blue Chip | In the art world, the term refers to any art, artist (a.k.a.: “early blue-chip artist” [see Artist]) who creates, exhibits, or sells, or gallery (see Art Gallery) or collector (see Art Collector), that exhibits or purchases high-end art (see High Art) that is expected to reliably increase in economic value regardless of the general economic conditions. The term appears to have originated with insurers and tax bodies associated with the high-end art community. Blue chip galleries tend to focus solely on reselling the work of well-established names; artists whose works are well catalogued and authenticated, and reliably bring higher and higher prices at auction. Due to importance placed on using artwork as commodities, rather than appreciating artwork mainly for their intellectual and cultural value, the term blue chip is regarded by many as vulgar (see Vulgar). The importance on utility also causes some critics (see Criticism) to regard the term as one associated with commercial art (see Commercial Art) but it actually is more associated with fine art (see Fine Art), antiquities and decorative art (see Decorative Art).
Body of Work | Multiple pieces of cohesive artwork (see Art). It is art galleries that are mainly interested in the bodies of work of fine artists for potential gallery representation. Despite common misconceptions, a body of art usually is not representative of an artist’s oeuvre (see Oeuvre). The term is also occasionally mistakenly used to refer to a portfolio (see Artist’s Portfolio).
Boudoir Photography | A popular style (see Art Style) – there are arguments that it is neither a style nor a genre (see Art Genre), of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product). Potentially incorporating a combination of pinup (see Pinup Photography), glamour (see Glamour Photography), erotic (see Erotic Photography) styles, and sometimes the fetish (see Fetish Photography) genre, the aim of a boudoir photographer is to create images that depict romance, intimacy, and seduction all at the same time. Lingerie, costumes, bed linens, tapestries, fashion accents, fetish gear and plain clothes tend to be frequent features.
Models can be nude (see Nude) but do not have to be. Total or partial nudity is actually very rare since the subjects are typically amateur models with deep concerns about personal modesty, the accidental release of their images to unintended viewers and other privacy issues. These amateur models – which are usually female and very rarely include males (i.e., couples’ boudoir), hire boudoir photographers to help them create such images for very personal reasons and a very private, privileged and discrete audience. Boudoir photography can be considered an extension of family photography (see Family Photography).
Bridal boudoir (see Bridal Boudoir Photography) is the sister style. Dudeoir (see Dudeoir Photography), sometimes referred to as male boudoir, is the brother style that exclusively features male models, and is often done with tongue-in-cheek motives.
Bridal Boudoir Photography | A style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product). It is done in the same style as ordinary boudoir (see Boudoir Photography); hence why it could be viewed as a genre (see Art Genre), and for the same reasons, but surrounding a wedding (see Wedding Photography) or wedding engagement (see Engagement Photography) theme. Despite the potential for nudity (see Nude), it is very seldom exhibited since the subjects are typically amateur models with deep concerns about personal modesty, the accidental release of their images to unintended viewers and other privacy issues. Bridal boudoir photography can be considered an extension of family photography (see Family Photography).
Carving | The act of using tools to shape something from a material by removing portions of that material. A “carving” is also a work of three-dimensional visual art (see 3D Art) that is created through the act of carving, as opposed to more two-dimensional work (see Engraving). The technique can be applied to any material that is solid enough to hold a form even when pieces have been removed from it, and yet soft enough for portions to be carved away with available tools. Carving, as a means for making sculpture (see Sculpture), is distinct from methods using soft and malleable materials like clay, fruit, and melted glass, which may be shaped into the desired forms while soft and then hardened into that form. Carving tends to require much more work than methods using malleable materials.
Ceramics | (a.k.a.: “ceramic art”) Art made from ceramic materials (solid materials comprising inorganic compounds of metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds [e.g., earthenware, porcelain, and brick]), including clay. It may take forms including artistic pottery, including tableware, tiles, figurines, and other sculpture. Ceramic art is one of the arts, particularly the visual arts. Of these, it is one of the plastic arts. While some ceramics are considered fine art, as pottery or sculpture, some are considered decorative, industrial, or applied art objects. Ceramics may also be considered artefacts in archaeology. Ceramic art can be made by one person or by a group of people. In a pottery or ceramic factory, a group of people design, manufacture and decorate the art ware. Products from a pottery are sometimes referred to as “art pottery”.
Chalk | A soft, white (in nature), porous, sedimentary carbonate rock; a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is an ionic salt called calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Chalk may also contain calcium sulfate (CaSO4); otherwise known as gypsum. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite shells (coccoliths) shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores.
Chiaroscuro | From Italian meaning “light-dark”, it is reference to the use of strong contrasts between light and dark in two-dimensional visual art (see 2D Art), usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. The more technical use of the term chiaroscuro is the effect of light modelling in painting, drawing or printmaking, where three-dimensional volume is suggested by the value gradation of colour and the analytical division of light and shadow shapes — often called “shading” (see Shading). It is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures. The underlying principle is that solidity of form is best achieved by the light falling against it. It is a mainstay of black and white and low-key photography.
Circular Economy | A careful management of the available resources of a country or region in a manner that keeps them in use for as long as possible, and avoiding waste. Artists (see Artist) have created artwork (see Art) from discarded materials; reusing, repurposing, and recycling, often through economic necessity (see Sustainable) as well as creative intention long before the term ‘circular economy’ was coined.
Client | A person using a service or idea that is obtained from Modes of Flight through a financial transaction or exchange for money or some other valuable consideration.
Clinical Photography | (see Medical Photography).
Cohesiveness | When a series (see Art Series) or body of work (see Body of Work) of fine art (see Fine Art) from an artist or a collection of fine art appears to have one or more characteristics that are similar or the same. Some of which are known as the seven elements of art (see Art Elements). Characteristics that artists rely on to create cohesive artwork, and that gallerists (see Gallerist) and collectors (see Art Collector) often look for from artists are same or similar use of colour, framing, genre (see Art Genre), media (see Art Media), style (see Art Style), and subject matter. Other less commonly used characteristics like harmony (see Harmony), unity (see Unity), variety (see Variety) and others can also be applied. While cohesiveness is typically advantageous to the marketing of fine art, creating cohesiveness can be a considerable challenge for an artist if the artist has considerable skill and interest in applying many characteristics and disciplines. Creating cohesion can restrict an artist’s freedom of expression (see Artistic Expression).
Commercial Art | Art forms (see Art Form) that are usually, not necessarily, visual but are developed primarily for utility (see Fine Art).
Commercial Photography | A subcategory of assignment photography (see Assignment Photography) that consists of various other styles (see Art Style) and genres (see Art Genre) that are also niche products (see Niche Product) that will be used to sell a product or a service (e.g., photographing fashion models wearing designer clothing for an advertisement).
Composition (visual art) | The organization of visual art elements, and design principles of perspective and proportion in ways that bring about deliberate visual effects.
Concept Art | A form of illustration (see Illustration) used to convey an idea for use in films, video games, animation, comic books or other media before it is put into the final product.
Conceptual Art | (a.k.a.: “conceptualism”) Artwork of which the idea(s) or concept(s) that is the basis of the creation is more important than the media and techniques used to make the work or even the completed artwork itself; therefore, the artwork can be made with anything that will allow an artist to get an idea across as opposed to using specific art media.
Construction Photography | (a.k.a.: “industrial photography”) A genre (see Art Genre) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) and a niche product (see Niche Product) for stakeholders who need the images to market a construction enterprise. This may include editorial images of staff working for engineering companies, manufacturers, factories, high-tech start-ups, mines, etc., industrial images of equipment, architectural images of a finished project, and aerial images of a job site. The objective is to capture the manufacturing process and the laborious jobs of workers in an industrial operation.
Contemporary Art | Art produced at this present point in time — specifically, since World War II.
Content | The message or meaning within a work of work. Content is fundamental to creating artwork beyond the elements (see Art Elements) and principles of art (see Art Principles).
Contrast | The difference between elements (see Art Elements) used in visual art (see Visual Art). Criticism is fundamental to creating artwork beyond the elements and principles of art (see Art Principles). It is because contrast works is so closely related to variety (see Variety) why it is usually considered a principle. Some art purists, however, argue that contrast simply creates variety.
Convergence | In two-dimensional visual art (see 2D Art), convergence refers to linear perspective. In linear perspective, all lines that are parallel converge together as they run along to a point at a person’s eye level (also known as the horizon line) in the picture place. Where the literal or imaginary line converge is often a focal point (see Focal Point). A place of emphasis (see Emphasis).
Craft | (a.k.a.: “trade” and “handicraft”) An amateur artistic activity, profession or creation that requires certain skills and knowledge of skilled work in order to make functional or utilitarian products.
Creative (as opposed to artist) | Any person who regularly generates effective solutions to problems. A term that has been used needlessly on the Internet and by certain art experts to unnecessarily distinguish artists from creative people who are not regarded as artists by themselves or other people. With that consideration, the simplest understanding of a creative person is a person because all reasonably thinking and functioning people create solutions to problems daily (see Artist).
Creative Vision | The ability to recognize a person, place, event, or other thing as not only what it actually is but, in a way, that amplifies or intensifies its existence and/or meaning on the human psyche. Creative vision may also involve the adding of one or more profound meanings to that person, place, event, or other thing, and it is needed before that person, place, event or other thing is presented or expressed through some artistic means.
Cremnitz White | An oil paint pigment. The term ‘Cremnitz white’ erroneously originated from the designation of basic lead carbonate manufactured in Klangenfurt, Austria, in the 18th and 19th centuries according to a process similar but not identical to the ‘stack process.’ The lead used in manufacturing lead white in Klangenfurt came from galena mines in the vicinity of Krems (in the state of Carinthia, Austria) and hence the names Kremsweiss, Kremserweiss, Krems White, Kremser White, and the erroneous attributions Cremnitz White or Kremnitz White.
The term ‘Cremnitz white’ as used by most artists’ materials manufacturers today for their white oil paint is for a paint made by grinding basic lead carbonate ground in a vegetable drying oil (linseed, walnut, or safflower oil) without the addition of zinc oxide.
Criticism | An organized approach to evaluating artwork. Criticism is fundamental to creating artwork beyond the elements (see Art Elements) and principles of art (see Art Principles).
Curator | A manager of cultural organizations that is typically a “collections curator (see Art Collector)” or an “exhibitions curator (see Art Exhibition)”, and has multifaceted tasks dependent on the institution and its mission. The role of curator has evolved alongside the changing role of museums (see Museum), and the term “curator” may designate the head of any given division. Since the beginning of the 21st century, newer kinds of curators have started to emerge: “community curators”, “literary curators”, “digital curators” and “biocurators”.
Customer | The art collector (see Art Collector) or other recipient of art or merchandise that is obtained from Modes of Flight through a financial transaction or exchange for money or some other valuable consideration.
Dammar vanish | It is made from dammar gum mixed with turpentine, and was introduced as a picture varnish in 1826; commonly used in oil painting, both during the painting process and after the painting is finished. Dammar, also called dammar gum, or damar gum, is a resin obtained from the Dipterocarpaceae family of trees in India and East Asia, principally those of the genera Shorea or Hopea (synonym Balanocarpus). Most is produced by tapping trees; however, some is collected in fossilized form from the ground.
Decorative Arts | Arts (see Art) and crafts (see Craft) concerned with the production of objects that equally feature both functionality and aesthetic beauty (e.g., ornate cutlery, plates, tea sets, chests, luggage, furniture, political or religious books or posters featuring special calligraphy or type, talismans, etc.). The decorative arts include interior design but usually do not include architecture, and are typically distinguished from the fine arts (see Fine Art), specifically drawings, paintings, photography, and large-scale sculpture which generally produce creations for their aesthetics and capacity to arouse the intellect.
Depth | A casual one-word expression used in visual art that refers to the appearance of objects and spaces as viewed from the foreground receding to the background. This is related to depth perception. Two-dimensional visual art (see 2D Art) is made with any number of drawing or painting instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium, so an object or space depicted in a composition (see Composition [visual art]) to have a three-dimensional physical appearance that has a portion close to the observer and another portion that is distant from the observer, in reality lacks depth. Depth perception arising from visual cues presented in two-dimensional pictures or images, such as shadows, and size perspective are features that are designed to trick the eye and mind into adding depth and distance to the object or space depicted in the image. These cues are termed pictorial depth cues or pictorial depth information. In photography, for many cameras, depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and the farthest objects that are in acceptably sharp focus in an image. In still photography, therefore, the use of specific lenses, planned positioning of the camera and selective focusing techniques; all that take advantage of or distort lines of perspective and quality of light, can create an illusion that truly three-dimensional objects and spaces photographed onto a two-dimensional medium have continue to retain some appearance of what is sometimes referred to as dimensional depth.
Design | Traditionally, artwork bearing visual art elements that can be reproduced exactly in every way by hand, as opposed to an image which can only be produced once by hand (blueprints are designs while pencil drawings, oil paintings, other illustrations and photographs are images); keep in mind that most designs by contemporary considerations are not handmade but are computer generated (e.g. graphic design), as are many contemporary images, and both can be reproduced exactly by technological means.
Documentary Photography | A style (see Art Style) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that incorporates various other photography (see Photography) styles and genres (see Art Genre) in the creation of niche products (see Niche Product) that chronicle events or environments of both historical importance, and everyday living.
Documentary photography is undertaken as an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit but it is usually created through professional photojournalism (a.k.a.: “real-life reportage” or “reportage photojournalism”) in which images are taken to depict a story or event in a report-like fashion.
During the first and second world war and postwar eras, documentary photography increasingly became considered as a synonym of photojournalism. The actual distinction between documentary photography and the photojournalism styles; however, is due to the facts that:
- The former involves long term projects (see Art Project) in which complex story lines are recorded, while the latter always deals with short breaking news stories;
- Photojournalism; being closely related to the news media, is considerably more influenced by the need to entertain audiences and market products than documentary photography; and
- The practice of photojournalism is also more bound than documentary photography to some standard of ethics – that is recognized in each nation, regarding the recording and publishing of the lives and likenesses of people, and the places they live and work in.
The approaches to documentary photography and photojournalism frequently overlap, as is known in social documentary photography (a.k.a.: “concerned photography”). Social documentary photography is the predecessor style of photojournalism in which life is analyzed with a particular focus on the social and or environmental impact on the human experience. The intent is to draw the attention of the public to ongoing social issues, often showing the life of underprivileged or disadvantaged people.
Since the late 1970’s, news print and magazine published photography began to decline due to the increase and popularity of television and Internet-based documentary. As a result of the traditional forums for documentary photography vanishing, many of such photographers began to increasingly exhibit (see Art Exhibit and Art Exhibition) their images in art galleries (see Art Gallery) and other visual art (see Visual Art) associated venues and markets as means of making a living. Traditional documentary photography can now be found alongside the work of other artists working in painting, sculpture, and modern media.
Dominance | When one or more elements in artwork will attract the eye and get noticed first. A dominant element might even appear to exhibit some sort of control over less dominant elements. Dominance of an element is established through contrast, emphasis, and relative visual weight (see Visual Weight). To exert dominance, an element must look different from the elements it’s meant to dominate. The most common characteristics that can be varied to set different visual weights include size, shape, color, value, depth, texture, density, saturation, orientation, local negative space (see Negative Space) or white space (see White Space), intrinsic interest and perceived physical weight. Dominance can also be created through visual direction (e.g., in graphic design; surrounding an element with arrows all pointing to that element).
Dudeoir Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product). It features male (hence the use of “dude” in the portmanteau) models – usually amateurs, posing as objects of sexual or romantic desire. This is often done comedically, to lampoon the cover art of women’s romance novels, and male pinup (see Pinup Photography and Beefcake Photography) calendars. Dudeoir is the masculine version of boudoir (see Boudoir Photography).
Eco-Friendly | Designed to do the least possible damage to the environment.
Editorial Photography | A subgroup or style (see Art Style) of commercial photography (see Commercial Photography) that includes various genres (see Art Genre) that are also niche products (see Niche Product) that depict the profound impact of the everyday social or work environments of people. Such images are usually, not always, used in publishing under an image licensing agreement between the photographer and the source of the publishing (e.g., news agency, fashion magazine, etc.). Legally, exclusively editorial use images cannot be used for commercial or advertising (see Advertising Photography) purposes. Photographs licensed for editorial publishing (e.g., news report, fashion article, etc.) will usually feature recognizable people (e.g., celebrities, politicians, famous athletes, etc.) and/or something copyrighted (e.g., a logo, brand name, tagline, etc.). Since editorial photography is typically meant to be displayed in printed media – usually accompanying text and giving additional visual context to a story line or project, it can easily be argued to be not a subcategory commercial photography but social photography (see Social Photography). It is the common application of various licensing agreements with their use that make editorial images appear to be commercial.
Emerging Artist | A beginning or experienced professional visual artist that has typically created a relatively small body of work, has achieved some local recognition and/or has limited experience exhibiting their work in public.
Emphasis | The principle of art (see Art Principles) that helps the viewer of a work of visual art (see Visual Art) mentally perceive and put the story of the artwork together. Any object or area of emphasis is called a focal point (see Focal Point). The focal point is meant to be the part of an artwork to which the viewer’s eyes are first attracted. Artworks can have multiple focal points. The degree to which the focal points stand out determines the order in which the viewer notices them. An artist can begin to control how a story unfolds for viewers and how they will interact with a work of art by using contrast (see Contrast), isolation (see Isolation), location (see Location), convergence (see Convergence), the unusual (see Unusual) and level of rendering (see Rendering) in artwork.
Engagement Photography | A style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product), and closely associated with wedding photography (see Wedding Photography). It is simply portraiture made of people at or relating to the time of their engagement to be married, and can be considered an extension of family photography (see Family Photography).
Engraving | The practice of incising (see Carving) a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a burin, chisel, or other tools. The result may be a work of three-dimensional visual art (see 3D Art) or decorative art (see Decorative Arts), or may provide an intaglio printing plate for printing images as prints or illustrations which are also called “engravings”. Engraving is one of the oldest and most important techniques in printmaking.
Environmental Photography | A style (see Art Style) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that incorporates various other photography styles and genres (see Art Genre) in the creation of niche products (see Niche Product); images that tell the stories of natural environments, what takes place within them and the relationships between nature and the human species.
Environmental photography is typically used to raise awareness of important environmental and conservation issues like climate change.
It is not limited to merely showing beautiful landscapes, as is common with nature photography (see Nature Photography), adventure photography (see Adventure Photography) and travel photography (see Travel Photography), or awe-inspiring portraits of the spectacular and interesting animals within those places (see Wildlife Photography). This work aims to shed light on the potential and actual man-made threats to these ecosystems and living organisms. Conversely, environmental photography also documents when and where improvements are made in the protection of the natural world, so that people can be educated, given hope and motivated to join or initiate real efforts in sustainability (see Sustainable) and the establishment of circular economies (see Circular Economy) for generations to come.
Erotic Photography | A style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product).
Lumped under the umbrella term erotica, this type of social photography (see Social Photography) is actually associated with fine art (see Fine Art), apparently due to its connection to Renaissance artists like Sir, Peter Paul Rubens and Francisco de Goya (such artists are referred to as “Old Masters”) but erotica is less viewed as “high art (see High Art)” when it’s produced by contemporary artists (the term erotica is in fact synonymous with the term “softcore pornography”, and as art collections erotica is occasionally referred to as curiosa), and; therefore, erotic photographers are seldom regarded, if ever, as fine artists or even any type of artist (see Artist).
Erotic photography depicts the naked (see Nude), semi-nude or implied nude human body or inanimate objects in ways meant to inspire libidinous thoughts and feelings and/or social notions based on aesthetics (e.g., supposed ideal body types, ideal traits of physical beauty, ideal signs of good physical health [see Aesthetic]) in the observer with or without depicting simulated or implied sexual acts; emphasis placed on simulated and implied (sexual acts in erotica are never shown to be unmistakably performed as they usually are in “hardcore pornography [see Pornographic Photography]”) or simulating sexual functions. Erotic photography is only intended to be sexually suggestive or provocative.
Established Artist | A professional visual artist who has produced an extensive body of work – from a dozen to a couple dozen series, and has achieved national or international recognition.
Event Photography | A subgroup or style (see Art Style) of social photography (see Social Photography) that includes various genres (see Art Genre) that are also niche products (see Niche Product) that feature various kinds of planned happenings, such as weddings, birthdays, reunions, graduations, sports, pageants, theatrical plays, concerts, lectures, presentations, business meetings and political sessions. Recording a single event through photography often incorporates various techniques as everything from the candid moments of the people involved to the venue and any food that maybe presented there. A highly important skill of an event photographer – not unlike an illustrator (see Illustration), is knowing how to tell a story only with specific pictures, rather than simply trying to record the moment-by-moment details of an event. It is also important for an event photographer to be able to communicate and work well with the people putting on an event, participating in an event and being spectators to an event whenever circumstances require the most appropriate tact. In order to use the skills and techniques necessary for capturing the important moments of an event, which are usually unpredictable, an event photographer must rely on a combination of considerable pre-planning and sharp instinct.
Event Invite/Sales Lead | A potential contact for a networker (see Networker). It is typically a fellow artist (see Artist), art collector (see Art Collector) or someone who might need the services and skills of an artist. It may even be a friend, family member or other associate of the potential contact. This is what is conventionally called an “inbound lead” because he or she has observed how an artist has advertised or otherwise drawn attention to themself, and has come to connect with the artist or invest in his or her talents one way or another. For clarity; if an artist had directly engaged someone who was not thinking about the artist’s art (see Art ) or artistic services at all, in order to get the person interested, then the person would be what is called an “outbound lead.” An “inbound lead” cannot be handled the same way as an “outbound lead.”
Family Photography | (a.k.a.: “family lifestyle photography”) A style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) that is a niche product (see Niche Product) featuring portraiture of one or more members of families (see Niche Market), which can even include family pets (see Pet Photography). Many other photography (see Photography) styles and genres (see Art Genre) are often incorporated in a family portrait session depending on the creativity (see Creative Vision) of a client family and their photographer (see Photographic Vision).
Fashion Photography | An extremely popular but often controversial genre (see Art Genre) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) which produces niche products (see Niche Product) exhibiting clothing, costumes, regalia, uniforms, jewelry, and other fashion accents that are to be marketed through various print and electronic fashion publications. At times, portraiture of the models hired to wear the garments in advertising, even when they are not actually wearing the garments, and of the clothing designers can be just as important to the marketing of fashion and fashion brands as the images of the fashion.
The controversy of the dichotomous genre is centered on the established fact that it can contribute to a wide range of psychological, social, environmental, and ethical issues. It has been argued that the mainstream fashion industry, is only slightly less psychologically and sociologically detrimental than the hardcore pornography industry (see Pornographic Photography).
Fetish Photography | A style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is sometimes produced for editorial (see Editorial Photography) reasons, and is often a niche product (see Niche Product). Usually using avant-garde (see Avant-Garde Art) methods with unlimited genres (see Art Genre), fetish photography is strongly associated with erotic (see Erotic Photography) and pornographic photography (see Pornographic Photography). It depicts subject (see Subject) matter that is largely composed of sexual paraphilias (e.g., fetish fashion, BDSM, transvestism, ass or leg fetish, balloons, furries, amazons, wrestling, shibari, pregnancy, giantess, sploshing, etc.), and the people who engage in those activities or identify as members of fetish communities or subcultures.
Figurative Illustration | A genre of illustration that depicts an object derived from a real source to represent something or someone but is not to be mistaken for figure drawing or figure painting which exclusively involves depictions of the human form.
Fill Light | In television, film, stage, or photographic lighting, a fill light (often simply fill) may be used to reduce the contrast of a scene to match the dynamic range of the recording media and record the same amount of detail typically seen by eye in average lighting and considered normal. From that baseline of normality, using more or less fill will make shadows seem lighter or darker than normal, which will cause the viewer to react differently by inferring both environmental and mood clues from the tone of the shadows.
Fine Art | Art forms (see Art Form) that are not necessarily visual but are developed primarily for aesthetics and/or conveying and analyzing ideas rather than practical application. In other words; the value of a widget (economically speaking; a hypothetical manufactured good or product) is based on it being produced to supply a common or essential demand, whereas the value in fine art arises from a personal intellectual, emotive or even spiritual need to express an idea, event, experience or other thing in a creative way, which may be followed by the artwork being revealed to others to see if it may generate some form of interest – potentially including a need or want to invest in the creation or its creator in some way. When the production of artwork is first inspired by a need to satisfy an essential demand, similarly to the generation of a widget, then that work is not a fine form of art but a commercialized art form (see Commercial Art).
Fitness Photography | A style (see Art Style) of mainly editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that also often overlaps with social photography (see Social Photography) which produces niche products (see Niche Product) that promote amateur and professional athletes, athletic events, health and beauty venues, health products and trends, sports and fitness equipment, and fitness and wellness sociocultural phenomena.
Fitness photography differs from sports photography (see Sports Photography) in that fitness images – usually showing professional athletic models, are often intentionally staged and glamorous (see Glamour Photography), even when action is incorporated. Sports photography, on the other hand, largely features candid action capturing pictures from actual sporting events including images of circumstances behind the scenes.
As an industry resource, fitness photography functions very similarly to fashion photography (see Fashion Photography) but with less controversy.
Flake White | An oil paint pigment. The term ‘flake white’ originated from the fact that when basic lead carbonate is made according to the old Dutch method or ‘stack process,’ it falls off the metallic pieces of lead as flakes. According to artist paint pigment experts, this is not the case when lead white is made according to modern processes, which is the pigment type used by all artists’ paint manufacturers today.
The term ‘flake white’ as used by most artists’ materials manufacturers today for their white oil paint designates a paint made by grinding basic lead carbonate ground in a vegetable drying oil (linseed, walnut, or safflower oil) with a small amount of zinc oxide.
Flow | (a.k.a.: “visual flow”) The effect of an artwork that causes the attention of a viewer to impulsively trace a path over an image or scene, to seemingly lead the viewer deeper into it. The path is followed as opposed to either frantically trying to see all points of the image or scene at once or remaining focused on a single point. As a stream or river flows from one location to another, sweeping anything movable up into its current, the artistic effect converts the viewer from being a passive observer of the art into an active participant, giving them a sense of being in the image or scene. The creation of flow can be beneficial in artwork that lacks a focal point (see Focal Point).
Focal Point | The focal point of a painting, photograph or graphic design is the area in the composition to which the viewer’s eye is naturally drawn. It is essential to classic art, although abstract artists may deliberately create compositions without focal points. Focal points may be of any shape, size, or color. Composition theory dictates that focal points ought not to be in the center of paintings, photos, or graphic designs but rather one-third of the way across or up the composition, in one of the rectangle’s four quadrants. The creation of a focal point can be beneficial in artwork that lacks flow (see Flow).
Food Photography | A still life (see Still Life and Still Life Photography), advertising (see Advertising Photography) and editorial (see Editorial Photography) genre (see Art Genre) of food created for a niche market (see Niche Market and Niche Product).
Forensic Photography | It can be regarded as a style (see Art Style) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) but it may be better to be recognized as a large group of techniques which produces niche products (see Niche Product) that are the evidentiary visual documentation of various aspects of a crime scene that are usually needed by police investigators.
Form | An element of art (see Art Elements), means objects that have three dimensions; length, height and width. Form and shape (see Shape) are related. A shape can be transformed into the illusion of a form by adding value (see Value), and a form from life can be simplified (see Simplicity) into a shape.
Freeform Shape | (a.k.a. “organic shape”) An irregular and uneven shape as opposed to a geometric shape (see Geometric Shape). Their outlines may be curved, angular or a combination of both.
Freelance Photographer | A person who practices photography (see Photography) as a professional independent contractor (see Freelance Photographer).
Front Curtain Sync | A slow sync flash function that tells a camera to fire the flash at the start of an exposure; such as when the shutter is pressed, the flash will fire immediately and the shutter will remain open afterwards capturing ambient light.
Gallerist | An owner or operator of a gallery (see Art Gallery).
Geometric Shape | A precise shape that can be described using a mathematical formula (e.g. a square, triangle, octagon, circle, etc.) as opposed to an organic shape (see Freeform Shape).
Gesamtkunstwerk | Artwork that incorporates all or many art forms in its makeup or attempts to do so.
Giclée Print | A fine art reproduction of 2D art that is marketed as being of archival (museum) quality. It is the French word giclée (meaning; a spray or a spurt of liquid)that is used to indicate the likely museum quality of a print to prospective art collectors. As such reproductions are typically made by large format digital inkjet printers with expectedly, not guaranteed, exceptionally high resolution (digital photographs as low as 72 dpi can be acceptable but continuous tone and line art [paintings and drawings] are usually best to be photographed or scanned as digital files at a minimum of 300 dpi) it is not an official industry term (see Archival Print). Other high-quality fine art reproductions could be made through offset, lithographic and other printing press processes.
Glamour Photography | A fine art (see Fine Art) photography genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product). The styles of erotic (see Erotic Photography), boudoir (see Boudoir Photography) and bridal boudoir photography (see Bridal Boudoir Photography), and nude (see Nude) genre, are frequently applied in varying degrees to create glamorous images of women. A sister style of beefcake (see Beefcake Photography), glamour photography emphasizes the physical attractiveness of a model, and treats a model; not just her body, as an object of sexual or even romantic desire by displaying them naked, semi-nude, or even fully clothed without depicting actual or simulated sexual acts. It is intended to be sexually or romantically suggestive or provocative.
Glass | (SiO2) A non-crystalline, often transparent amorphous material commonly used in windows, tableware, optoelectronics, and decorative items.
Glass Etching | (a.k.a.: “French Embossing”) A popular technique developed during the mid-1800s that is still widely used in both residential and commercial spaces today. Glass etching comprises the techniques of creating decorative art (see Decorative Arts) on the surface of glass by applying acidic (see Glass Etching Cream), caustic or abrasive substances. Traditionally this is done after the glass is blown or cast, although mold-etching has replaced some forms of surface etching. The removal of minute amounts of glass causes the characteristic rough surface and translucent quality of frosted glass.
Glass Etching Cream | (a.k.a.: “glass etching solution”, “etching acid” and “glass etchant”) A substance used to chemically etch glass (see Glass), usually in decorative art (see Decorative Arts). It consists of fluoride compounds, such as hydrogen fluoride and sodium fluoride. As the types of acids used in this process are extremely hazardous (e.g.: hydrofluoric acid [some creams consist of chemical mixtures of sodium bifluoride, ammonium hydrogen difluoride, sulfuric acid and barium sulfate]), abrasive methods have gained popularity in glass etching (a.k.a.: “French Embossing [see Glass Etching]”).
Graduation Photography | A style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) which produces niche products (see Niche Product) for families who seek portraits commemorating the graduation of a student from elementary, secondary, or post-secondary education. Portraits are typically formal but even semi-formal imagery is less glamourous (see Glamorous Photography) that senior photography (see Senior Photography) which informally memorializes the time in the life of a student – usually female, in their fourth and final year of secondary or post-secondary education.
Graffiti | Visual art (see Visual Arts) that is written, painted, or drawn on a wall or other surface, usually without permission — usually making it illegal, and usually within public view. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings (see Mural see Street Art), and has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.
Psychologists recognize most graffiti as vented anger. That the artists (see Artist), in general, who create graffiti — usually juveniles, have a deep “displacement” (a desire to commit a scandalous and/or dangerous act to an actual or merely perceived more threatening object, person or faction [e.g., verbally abuse, sexual assault, infringe on or strip away someone’s fundamental human rights]). Doing so, however, would seriously breech highly guarded social mores, probably to the “artist’s” detriment, so they vent on something safer and inanimate like a wall, fence, or window. Psychologists have noted two basic groups of motives for graffiti producers. The psychologists seem to accurately further break down both groups into eight more specific motives. The first group is “mass communication and reflexive communication”, and in it there are motives of:
- Proving one’s existence (fame or infamy);
- The need to express oneself;
- Documentation of group membership (typically associated with gang behaviour);
- Taking pleasure in esthetics;
- Creative and physical acts; and
In the second group of “categorical and individual communication”, the specific motives are:
- The expression of criticism, protest, rejection, or agreement;
- The marking out of territories (again, highly associated with gang mentality), and
- The search for like-minded contacts.
Graphic | A visual image (see Image) or design (see Design) used to convey information, illustrate (see Illustration) or entertain.
Graphic Arts | A category of fine art that covers a broad range of visual artistic expression, typically two-dimensional (i.e., produced on a flat surface). The term usually refers to the arts that rely more on line or tone than on colour, especially drawing and the various forms of engraving; it is sometimes understood to refer specifically to printmaking processes, such as line engraving, aquatint, drypoint, etching, mezzotint, monotype, lithography, and screen printing (silk-screen, serigraphy). Graphic art further includes calligraphy, photography, painting, typography, computer graphics, and bindery. It also encompasses drawn plans and layouts for interior and architectural designs.
Graphic Design | The process of visual communication and problem-solving using typography, photography, and illustration. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term “graphic design” is used synonymously. Graphic designers create and combine symbols, images, and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. They use typography, visual arts, and page layout (see Page Layout) techniques to create visual compositions. Common uses of graphic design include corporate design (logos and branding), editorial design (magazines, newspapers, and books), wayfinding or environmental design, advertising, web design, communication design, product packaging, and signage.
Guerrilla Networking | A business tactic in which a networker (see Networker) attracts contacts (see Event Invite/Sales Lead) by socializing as though the networker is the kind of contact that he or she is trying to attract for opportunities for growth.
Hard Light | Light that casts shadows with crisp edges. It is sometimes referred to as “contrasty light.”
Harmony | The principle of art (see Art Principles) that creates cohesiveness (see Cohesiveness) by stressing the similarities of separate but related parts. Harmony should not be mistaken for unity (see Unity) in art. Harmony does, however, enhance unity in artwork. Specifically, harmony uses the seven elements of art (see Art Elements) as a vehicle to create a sense of togetherness amongst otherwise separate parts. A set of colours that relate according to a specific scheme creates harmony. Likewise, a uniform texture of brush strokes across the surface of a canvas creates harmony.
Hazard | A rare or extreme natural or human made event that threatens to adversely affect human life, property or activity (e.g., a hazard is a phenomenon which may cause physical damage, economic losses, or threaten human life and well-being if it occurs in a photography shoot location).Hazard Assessment | The process of estimating, for defined areas, the probabilities of the occurrence of potentially damaging phenomena of given magnitudes within a specified period of time. A hazard assessment involves analysis of formal and informal historical records and physically inspecting the place of which the assessment pertains.
Headshot Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) styles (see Art Style) which produces niche products (see Niche Product) of tightly cropped close-up photos of faces, from the shoulders up. The human subject (see Subject) is camera aware — typically looking directly into the lens.
The niche market (see Niche Market) for headshots used to consist of actors and models but as the world became more socially connected through digital media, headshots have become ubiquitous for anyone with a need to market themselves professionally or personally (e.g., online dating profiles).
Heroic Nude | An idealized visual depiction of heroes, deities, or semi-divine beings with naked (see Nude) human male physiques – usually somewhat athletic to very robust, that originated in Ancient Greece and has survived more or less intact in contemporary art (see Contemporary Art); both fine art (see Fine Art) and commercial art (see Commercial Art).
Hierarchy | (a.k.a.: “visual hierarchy”) The order in which a viewer mentally processes information presented in artwork. By assigning different visual characteristics to sections of information (e.g., more detail in a figure or larger fonts for headings), an artist can influence what users will perceive as being further up in the hierarchy. The visual characteristics that an artist can use to influence a viewer’s perception of the information are size (the larger the element, the more attention it will attract), colour (bright colours are more likely to draw attention over muted ones), contrast (dramatically contrasted colours will catch the eye easily), alignment (an element that breaks away from the alignment of others will attract more attention), repetition (repeating styles can give the impression that content is related), proximity (closely placed elements will also appear related), whitespace (more space around elements will attract the eye toward them), and texture and style (richer textures will attract more attention than flat ones).
High Art | Art (see Art) that is perceived to be respectable and dignified by a culture that regularly engages in sophisticated intellectual matters.
The notions of high and low art are traceable to 18th century beliefs about fine art (see Fine Art), which is considered high art, and craft (see Craft) which is presumed to be low art. Writers of the 1700s made a distinction between artwork that is intended purely for aesthetics (fine art) and work that has some kind of utility (see Commercial Art) or function (craft). It was at that time that painting, sculpture, music, architecture, and poetry became recognized as the original fine arts. The early 19th century Western art (see Western Art) phrase and philosophy “art for art’s sake” was born from this opinion, and it is so culturally pervasive that many continue to accept it as the “correct” way to classify art. The contemptable snobbery of it all even leads to the inaccurate regarding of all low art as unsophisticated and tacky (see Kitsch).
High Speed Sync | (HSS) is a flash setting in a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera which allows the camera to use a flash at shutter speeds faster than the camera’s standard or native sync speed. Most DSLR’s have a native sync of 1/250th of a second, and anything faster than that is beyond the camera’s ability to sync the shutter with the flash. A photographer may require a faster shutter speed, however, in order to effectively capture the action or for other aesthetic reasons (e.g., a wide aperture).
Illustration | Any visual art that is created to enhance, explain, or beautify something. Illustration is also frequently created for utility; hence illustration is also a commercial art.
Image | Traditionally, artwork bearing visual art elements that can only be produced once by hand, as opposed to a design which features visual art elements that can be reproduced exactly in every way by hand (pencil drawings, oil paintings, other illustrations and photographs are images while schematics are designs); keep in mind that most designs by contemporary considerations are not handmade but are computer generated (e.g. graphic design), as are many contemporary images, and both can be reproduced exactly by technological means.
Impasto | A technique used in painting (usually oil or acrylic painting), in which pigment is applied to an area of a surface very thickly, usually thick enough that the brush or painting-knife strokes are visible. The technique can be a layered approach, and paint can also be mixed right on the canvas. When dry, impasto provides texture; the paint appears to be coming out of the canvas.
Industrial Photography | (See Construction Photography).
ISO | Film speed is the measure of a photographic film’s sensitivity to light, determined by sensitometry and measured on various numerical scales, the most recent being the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) system. A closely related ISO system is used to describe the relationship between exposure and output image lightness in digital cameras.
Isolation | A straight-forward way to ensure that something of importance; often referred to as the “main character”, of a composition (see Composition [visual art]) is noticed by a viewer. The placing of an object of emphasis (see Emphasis) outside of a grouping will force a viewer to take notice of it.
Juxtaposition | The placing of two or more things side-by-side, often with the intention of comparing or contrasting the elements (see Art Elements). It is commonly used in the visual arts (see Visual Art) to emphasize a concept, form unique compositions (see Composition [visual art]), and add intrigue to paintings, drawings, sculptures, or any other type of artwork. Juxtaposition may take the form of shapes, changes in mark-making, contrasting colors, or representations of actual objects. For example, an artist may use aggressive mark-making next to an area of very controlled shading, or an area of crisp detail against something handled more softly. Juxtaposition is not to be confused with proximity (see Proximity) in art, which is a judgement of how close components in a composition appear to be to one another in order to make those parts be perceived by a viewer as unified (see Unity).
Key Light | The first and usually most important light that a photographer, cinematographer, lighting cameraman, or other scene composer will use in a lighting setup. The purpose of the key light is to highlight the form and dimension of the subject.
Kitsch | Artwork, objects or designs considered by most to be in “poor taste (see Artistic Taste)” or quality because of excessive garishness or sentimentality but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way. Neon signs, hardcore pornography are all well-known and highly admired examples of kitsch or “kitschy art” even though many are unlikely to openly state their attraction to such things. Kitsch is the true opposite of fine art, and is often also commercial art although commercial art usually is not kitsch. The word is originally an old German expression for something regarded as tacky or trashy.
Liberal Arts | (a.k.a.: “the seven liberal arts”) Subjects or skills that in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free person (liberalis, “worthy of a free person”) to know to take an active part in civic life, something that (for ancient Greece) included participating in public debate, defending oneself in court, serving on juries, and most importantly, military service. Grammar, logic, and rhetoric were the core liberal arts (the trivium), while arithmetic, geometry, the theory of music, and astronomy were the following stage of education (as the quadrivium). Liberal arts today can refer to academic subjects such as literature, philosophy, mathematics, and social and physical sciences; and liberal arts education can refer to overall studies in a liberal arts degree program (usually at university level). For both interpretations, the term generally refers to matters not relating to the professional, vocational, or technical curriculum.
Lifestyle Photography | (See Social Photography).
Light Falloff | Based on the inverse square law of light, it is the decline in illumination with distance in proportion to 1/r squared (light intensity is equal to 1 divided by the distance from the light source square). The output of light; therefore, falls off two stops (1/4 the illumination) or fades by 75% for every doubling in distance from the light source to the subject.
For a couple of examples:
- If an unmodified flash unit is set to strobe at 1/1 power (100% of the brightness or f/22), then by the time the light reaches a distance of two feet (2ft) from the unit its brightness will decrease to 1/4 power (3% of the brightness or f/4). The best lens aperture to set on camera in order to photograph a subject 2ft away from the flash without the subject being overexposed or underexposed, therefore, will be f/4.
- If an unmodified photography flash unit strobes at f/8 (1/250 sec) which would be 100% of the brightness at 200 ISO, then by the time the light reaches a distance of two feet (2ft) from the unit its brightness will fade to f/4 (1/60 sec) which would be 25% of the brightness at 200 ISO. The best lens aperture to set on camera set at 200 ISO in order to photograph a subject 2ft away from the flash without the subject being overexposed or underexposed, therefore, will be f/4.
The measurement or casual considerations of light falloff is applied to photography and stage lighting.
Light Modifier | Devices that can improve the lighting in photographs or videos. Whether a scene has ambient or artificial light, a light modifier can be used to achieve a particular mood. A modifier, can enable a photographer to highlight something important in a scene, soften harshness or flatter a subject.
Limited Edition Print | A reproduction (referred to by print makers as an “impression”) of 2D artwork that is of a fixed number ensuring that no other reproduction will be produced later. Making a limited edition (a.k.a.: “LE”) that is collectible by art collectors requires 1) making all impressions from a single printing plate or electronic file (i.e., when making giclée prints), 2) destroying the plate, and 3) ensuring that the original artwork is never traded or sold even if it means destroying the art. LE prints are typically — not always, hand signed and numbered in graphite (pencil) by the artist who created the original artwork. The number of a print is often conspicuously displayed as a fraction on a white boarder in the lower left corner. For example, if 237 impressions are made in a print run, the first impression to come off the press would be numbered 1/237 (see Open Edition Print).
Line | A point that moves. One of the seven elements of art (see Art Elements). It is considered by most to be the most basic element of art. A line can be used to show where an object ends. This type of line is called a contour line or outline. By varying the line quality (thickness or thinness; a.k.a.: “line quality”) an artist can show form in a drawing with just the use of line. The use of cross contour lines can also indicate shadow and form (see Form).
Linseed Oil | An oil paint binder. Also known as flaxseed oil or flax oil, it is a colourless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Linseed oil is a common carrier used in oil paint. It can also be used as a painting medium, making oil paints more fluid, transparent and glossy. It is available in varieties such as cold pressed, alkali refined, sun bleached, sun thickened, and polymerized (stand oil). The introduction of linseed oil was a significant advance in the technology of oil painting.
Location | Where a compositional element (see Art Elements) is placed in a work of art in order to emphasize (see Emphasis) its importance (see Photography Shoot Location). All things being equal, a viewer will look at the center of a composition (see Composition [visual art]) first. Placing important objects or people near the center of a canvas or photograph will add to their emphasis. Artists (see Artist), gallerists (see Gallerist) and collectors (see Art Collector) must use caution in critiquing (see Criticism) a work of art during its creation, exhibition, or collection – rarely should important objects be placed directly in the center of a composition. It is usually best that they be placed near the center. Placing a focal point (see Focal Point) in the exact center of a composition that features many other focal points will often greatly de-emphasis everything else in the composition. Even to the extent that the viewer may not consider the entirety of the image.
Marker | Also known as a marker pen, fineliner, marking pen, felt-tip marker, felt-tip pen, flow marker, texta (in Australia), sketch pen (in India) or koki (in South Africa), is a pen which has its own ink-source, and a tip made of porous, pressed fibers such as felt. Markers may be waterproof, dry-erase, or permanent. A permanent or indelible marker consists of a container (glass, aluminum, or plastic) and a core of an absorbent material. This filling serves as a carrier for the ink. The upper part of the marker contains the nib that was made in earlier time of a hard-felt material, and a cap to prevent the marker from drying out.
Marketing Communications | The way a business entity conveys a message to a target market or the overall market through one or more viable tactics and strategies such as networking, personal selling, direct marketing, advertising, exhibiting, sponsorship, communication, promotion, and public relations.
Master | (see Masterpiece)
Masterpiece | A term that has seems to have lost its original meaning in modern times because it is not based on a verifiable and universally or broadly accepted standard. The earliest uses of the term appear to date back to late 16th century Europe when apprentices or journeymen aimed for recognition as master craftsmen in the old European guild system. To qualify for guild or academy membership a tradesperson or artist had to be judged, in part, by their ability to produce a high-quality piece of work in whatever their trade, craft (see Craft) or art form (see Art Form). If the applicant was able to show a guild’s review board that the applicant has met the critical standards of their trade, then the applicant would be regarded as a master and the piece of work would be retained by the guild or academy as a masterpiece. Contemporary art guilds and academies technically do not have the same type of masters’ review boards — not even in universities in which an artist may study for a Bachelor or Master of Fine Arts (BFA or MFA). So today, a masterpiece is commonly regarded as a creation in any area of the arts that receives considerable critical praise from others merely considered to be knowledgeable in the arts. Especially artwork that is presumed to have been created with the very best creativity, skill, profundity, or workmanship of an artist’s career. Not that the work has been judged to have met a set standard.
Maternity Photography | (a.k.a.: “maternity lifestyle photography” and “prenatal photography”, albeit almost never referred to by this term) A style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) that is a niche product (see Niche Product) featuring portraiture made of women; sometimes couples or parents with children (see Niche Market), at a time of their lives when the women are expecting to conceive a child. Photo shoots (see Photography Shoot) are usually conducted when women are 6 to 8 months pregnant in order to emphasize the fact that they are expecting to have a child. As it is common for women to begin to show pregnancy at four months; nevertheless, it is possible to execute a maternity shoot this early.
Many other photography styles and genres (see Art Genre) are often incorporated in a maternity portrait session depending on how a client wants to be photographed (see Creative Vision and Photographic Vision). Boudoir (see Boudoir Photography), bridal boudoir (see Bridal Boudoir Photography), family (see Family Photography) and glamour (see Glamour Photography) are the most integrated.
Meaning | Is the result of emotive or intellectual information, or spiritual belief; conveyed through art (see Art and Artistic Expression), impressing or stirring a viewer emotively, intellectually or spiritually.
Medical Photography | (a.k.a.: “clinical photography”) It can be regarded as a style (see Art Style) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) but it may be better to be recognized as a specialized group of techniques which produces niche products (see Niche Product) that are the visual documentation of the clinical presentation of patients, medical, dental, psychological (not commonly used clinically, and more associated with photo psychology; a specialty within psychology that seeks to identify and analyze relationships between psychology and photography) and surgical procedures, medical and dental devices and specimens from autopsy. The imagery is also used considerably in medical and dental education and research.
Mid-Career Artist | A professional visual artist who has completed a couple to a dozen art series (usually a project of 8 to 12 pieces), and have received recognition outside of his or her local arts community.
Modern Art | Artwork produced between the 1860s and 1970s, although the term sounds like it means the same thing as contemporary art, and made with that era’s popular philosophies of artistry — free thinking and experimentation as opposed to applying strong traditional considerations of narrative and realism.
Modernism | Both a philosophical movement and an art movement that, along with cultural trends and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the factors that shaped modernism were the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by reactions of horror to World War I. Modernism also rejected the certainty of Enlightenment thinking, although many modernists also rejected religious belief.
Modern Photography | A period in the history of photography that marked the shift from traditional pictorialist (see Pictorialism) photography to a more direct way of making photographic images by exploiting, and emphasizing the use and nature of the camera itself instead of merely using it as a tool to capture interesting scenes. This period began in the 1830’s when Louis Daguerre refined the work of Nicéphore Niépce’s resulting in the creation of the daguerreotype which only needed a few minutes of exposure to produced a sharp, clear image. The details of this process were released in 1839, and this date is considered the start of photography (see Photography) as a viable medium.
Molding | The process of manufacturing by shaping liquid or pliable raw material using a rigid frame called a mold or matrix. This itself may have been made using a pattern or model of the final object.
Morning After Photography | A controversial genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product). Potentially incorporating a combination of pinup (see Pinup Photography), glamour (see Glamour Photography), erotic (see Erotic Photography) styles, and sometimes the fetish (see Fetish Photography) genre — like bridal/engagement boudoir (see Bridal Boudoir Photography), morning after photography does not feature people having sex or even simulating sexual intercourse. It is; nevertheless, the creation of erotic images that suggest that newlyweds have passionately unleashed their physical desire for each other after they’ve tied the knot or are about to. It is only somewhat associated with wedding (see Wedding Photography) – which is a form of event photography (see Event Photography), and engagement photography (see Engagement Photography) – another form of portraiture, because it is slow to catch on in popularity. It can, however, be considered an extension of family photography (see Family Photography).
Motif | (pl. motifs and motives) A graphic that is or is meant to be repeated in a pattern or design.
Multidisciplinary Art | Art forms that heavily incorporate other art forms and fields, that are related or even unrelated to the arts, into their overall creation such as visual art, performance art, literary art, acrobatics, athletics, martial arts, etc.
Mural | Illustrative (see Illustration) or graphic (see Graphic) artwork (see Art) that is painted or applied directly to a wall, ceiling, or other permanent substrate. Mural techniques include fresco, mosaic, graffiti (see Graffiti) and marouflage.
Muse | (a.k.a.: “art muse”) A person, especially a female, or a personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist (see Artist). The concept originates from Greek mythology in which the Muses were nine goddesses who symbolized the arts and sciences. Commonly, a muse is thought to be a beautiful girl who models in the nude or semi-nude for whatever masculine sexual interest. She is never, and could never be the artist’s equal unless she is manipulative of a man whom everyone would agree is weak-minded or even effeminate. A muse, however, is more than a person who merely models frequently for a visual artist (see Visual Art). From perhaps a traditional or historical sense the purest character of a muse is that she is the anima to a male artist’s animus — to refer to a Jungian theory, with which he must be in tune if he is to create new and important artwork. Sexual connotations are typically associated with this relationship but the concept of the muse seems to indicate, in consideration of historical relationships that are presumed or suspected of being artist-muse bonds, that physical intimacy is not a certainty. Art history indicates that a bond between an artist and a muse is what is sometimes considered to be a seeming reversal of gender roles in which she is responsible for penetrating and impregnating him through inspiration. He gestates from the womb of his creative mind. A muse would not be so simply because of the role she plays in an artist’s intimate life but because of the role she plays in his intellectual life. That a muse is usually a female who serves as a prime source of inspiration for an artist who would presumably be male can still be viewed as old phallocentric sexist thinking. Why is it less likely for a male to be the muse of a female artist? Have there ever been any in history? What of same-sex partnerships? Have there been male muses for male artists, and female muses for female artists? What are, have been or could be the possibilities between two-spirit artist and muse partnerships? What is the viewpoint of the muse? The supposed muses of history all seem to have entered the roll by happenstance — some are presumed to have been chosen by their artists, although there does not appear to have been strong evidence of this. Is being a muse an admirable position to be in? Has anyone ever even consciously desired or aspired to being an artist’s muse?
Museum | An institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic (see Art Gallery), cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibitions that may be permanent or temporary.
Museum Print | A gallery or museum quality fine art reproduction of 2D art (see 2D Art). Such prints use fine quality papers and inks designed to resist color fading for certainly one complete century if not more. Drawings, paintings, and photography are reproduced using a fine art printer with exceptionally high resolution on environmentally sustainable papers known as rags that contain a 100% cotton base. They are often termed as being of “museum quality (see Archival Print and Giclée Print).”
Narrative Art | Artwork that tells a story either through a single piece of artwork or a series of pieces — either an entire story, more than one story or part of one story.
Nature Photography | An umbrella style (see Art Style) within editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that incorporates various other photography styles and genres (see Art Genre) in the creation of niche products (see Niche Product) featuring natural landscapes, wildlife (see Wildlife Photography), plants, ecosystems, and events in the course of nature.
Negative Space | The space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space occasionally is used to artistic effect as the “real” subject of an image (see White Space).
Networker | An artist (see Artist) looking for contacts (see Event Invite/Sales Lead) to establish relationships with for potential future art projects, art event planning and management, and/or commercial arts (see Commercial Art) opportunities (e.g., art sales, rental, leasing, licensing).
Networking | A conventional business tactic in which people communicate with each other socially to discover and exchange leads (see Event Invite/Sales Lead) or pointers on opportunities for growth.
Newborn Photography | (a.k.a.: “newborn lifestyle photography”, “birth photography” and “natal photography”, although almost never referred to by the latter two terms) An extremely creative style (see Art Style) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) that is a niche product (see Niche Product) featuring portraiture newborn babies by themselves or with parents or siblings (see Niche Market). Photo shoots (see Photography Shoot) are conducted when babies are still in the hospital, at home or in a photographer’s studio.
Many other photography (see Photography) styles and genres (see Art Genre) are often incorporated in a newborn portrait session depending on how a client wants their child to be photographed (see Creative Vision and Photographic Vision). The style is typically associated with family photography (see Family Photography).
Niche Market | A segment of a larger market — the mass market, that has its own demands and preferences. Companies focus on niche markets to better cater to a specific consumer than competitors who target a broad audience. Some visual artists (see Visual Art) overlook lucrative sales opportunities by concentrating only or mainly on getting accepted into galleries (see Art Gallery) to sell their work. Most visual artists who make a healthy living from selling their artwork (see Art), however, tend to earn most of their income from sources other than galleries. Such as people and factions who need and want specific artwork that does not necessarily appeal to the masses for whatever reason. In commercial considerations, a dichotomy exists in the fact that while art is highly subjective to individual taste, and; therefore, is seldom essential to the mass market, art also has the potential to be highly financially profitable in a niche market — often being one consisting of the financial elite, that strongly desires unique products (see Niche Product) that appeal to subjective taste.
Niche Product | A product targeting a specific section of a larger industry and market. For one example; while an average tube of toothpaste would be aimed to be sold to the general population — the mass market, another toothpaste could be specifically created for a smaller group of people with sensitive teeth and gums — the niche market (see Niche Market). Both fine art (see Fine Art) and commercial art (see Commercial Art) mainly produce niche products. Due to niche products fulfilling a particular specialist demand, they are often — not always, more expensive than more generic products.
Nude | A genre (see Art Genre) usually associated with fine art (see Fine Art) depicting the naked human body in whole or in part as studies (see Study); and are not intended to be sexually suggestive in any way and occasionally incorporate a social, political or even spiritual connotation, message or theme (e.g., fighting or surviving breast cancer, racism or homophobia, promoting multiculturalism, raising awareness of ecological concerns, celebrating physiques that don’t meet society’s common and narrow perceptions of feminine or masculine beauty or health [bare breasts on representations of the goddess Parvati is a sign of divinity dating back to ancient India] etc.) or a composition exemplifying an intimate though strictly platonic relationship between lives (e.g., a mother proudly holding her newborn baby, dancers in pose, etc.) through a perception of unfettered naturalness.
Some examples of fine art nudes include “The Birth of Venus (c. 1484–1486)” by Sandro_Botticelli, “Icarus Trying His Wings (1841)” by Philippe Grass, “Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath (1971)” by W. Eugene Smith, and “The Full Body Project (2007)” by Leonard Nimoy. The third piece of reference is a product of photojournalism, and while there are many who argue that photojournalism isn’t art (see Art), the fact remains that photojournalism has long been recognized as meeting the definition and standard of fine art photography. Smith’s image is officially recognized as a work of art.
Nudity is also often associated with the commercial arts (see Commercial Art).
Oeuvre | A French word typically referring to all the artwork created by an artist in his or her lifetime. This word is often misused to mean a body of work or a portfolio (see Body of Work and Portfolio).
Oil Paint Drier | Driers, or siccative such as cobalt and clear drier, are usually metallic salts that are combined with oils or resins and then mixed into the paint and/or medium and/or varnish to accelerate the drying time by speeding the rate of oxidation and polymerization (but it is important to remember that driers diminish the life of the paint or varnish).
Open Edition Print | A reproduction (referred to by printmakers as an “impression”) of 2D artwork that is of numerous quality reproductions made by a single printing plate before the plate becomes unusable or however many quality copies made from the same plate that are sellable. Making an open edition (a.k.a.: “OE”) that is collectable by art collectors requires 1) making all impressions from a single printing plate (reproducing the same image from any additional plates is called reprinting, and reprints are of extremely less value, if any, to collectors) or electronic file (i.e., when making giclée prints) and 2) saving and protecting the original plate for future printing until it wears out (see Limited Edition Print). OE’s typically — not always, have a much greater number of impressions produced than limited editions (LE’s). Whereas LE’s rarely number greater than a thousand copies, OE’s can range from a few thousand reproductions to tens of thousands of reproductions — considered virtually limitless. As OE prints are so common, theoretically, they must be marketed at significantly lower price values than LE prints.
Organic Shape | (see Freeform Shape).
Outsider Art | Art that is created by self-taught creators. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. Outsider at, therefore, should not be confused with wild art (see Wild Art) which is created within the mainstream art world.
Page Layout | The part of graphic design (see Graphic Design) that deals in the arrangement of visual elements on a physical or electronic page. It generally involves organizational principles of composition to achieve specific communication objectives.
Participant | Any a person or enterprise who knowingly takes part in or helps with a photography shoot.
Passport Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) that is a niche product (see Niche Product) which are ubiquitous headshots (see Headshot Photography) that are created using extremely precise methods in order meet all requirements for passports and most other photo identification cards, including international needs.
Pencil | A writing implement or art medium constructed of a narrow, solid pigment core inside a protective casing which prevents the core from being broken and/or from leaving marks on the user’s hand during use.
Performance Art | Art forms that create works which rely most heavily on some manner of kinetic involvement in their production, and are produced for an audience (e.g., music, drama, oral art and dance are the performance arts).
Perspective | In the graphic arts (see Graphic Arts) is an approximate representation, generally on a flat surface (such as paper), of an image as it is seen by the eye. The two most characteristic features of perspective are that objects appear smaller as their distance from the observer increases; and that they are subject to foreshortening, meaning that an object’s dimensions along the line of sight appear shorter than its dimensions across the line of sight.
Perspex | Poly(methyl methacrylate), also known as acrylic, acrylic glass, or plexiglass as well as by the trade names Crylux, Plexiglas, Acrylite, Lucite, Perclax and Perspex among several others, is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass.
Pet Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) that is a niche product (see Niche Product) which is simply creative portraits of people’s beloved pets.
Photographer | A person who practices photography (see Photography) as a novice, amateur or professional (see Freelance Photographer).
Photographer Assistant | A direct participant (see Participant) in the planning, setup, taking and processing of photographs by supporting a photographer (see Photographer and Freelance Photographer) on an assignment (see Assignment Photography).
Photography | The art (see Art) or practice (see Modern Photography and Photographic Vision) of taking and processing photographs (as a result, sometimes the word “taking” is replaced with “making”), using one or more styles (see Art Style), genres (see Art Genre) or techniques.
Photographic Vision | Profound foresight on the creative presentation of an image of a person, place, event or other thing through the recording of light or other electromagnetic radiation.
Photography Shoot | (a.k.a.: “photo shoot”) An event or engagement whereby a model poses for a photographer (see Photographer and Photographer Assistant) at a studio or any other location where multiple photos are taken to find the best ones for a required assignment or brief. The “model” is not always a person, however; for instance, advertising in print often requires photographic depiction of advertised goods, and food can be the subject of magazine articles (often in very elaborate presentations). Even a place or space can be a photography subject and, therefore, in effect is a “model” of a photo shoot.
Photography Shoot Location | (a.k.a.: “location”) Any indoor or outdoor site where a photography shoot (see Photography Shoot) is carried out.
Photojournalism | (see Documentary Photography).
Photorealism | A genre ad attempt to push visual art aesthetics to the point of creating literal and photographically accurate representations of subject matter, and an art movement (always spelled with a capital P when specifically referring to the movement) that has endured since the 1960’s.
Pictorialism | An approach to photography that emphasizes beauty (see Art Aesthetic) of subject matter (see Subject), tonality (see Tone), and composition (see Composition [visual art]) rather than the documentation of reality (see Realism).
Pinup Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product) usually printed in a poster or calendar intended to be pinned up on a wall, or included in an advertisement, magazine or other publication (see Editorial Photography). It features a sexually attractive model — often called a pinup girl if female and male pinup for the less common male models in the genre, who usually models professionally.
Other than the fact that most pinup models are professionals, facial expressions appear to be a critical difference, between pinup and the boudoir (see Boudoir Photography) style (see Art Style). Pinup models often display looks of mock surprise or a flirty come-hither smile directly at a camera lens to help create senses of harmless teasing and playfulness in viewers. Expressions and poses in boudoir are often more subdued and conveying a sense of heightened intellectual but erotic (see Erotic Photography) mystery and glamour (see Glamour Photography).
Models occasionally appear nude (see Nude) or semi-nude but are usually provocatively dressed.
As the pinup genre began as illustrations (see Illustration and Commercial Art) during World War I with painters like Raphael Kirchner, and grew in popularity during World War II with artists (see Artist) such as Alberto Vargas (‘Vargas Girls’), it is very common to have contemporary models appear to be from the 1940’s to early 1960’s through the careful application of hair, cosmetic techniques and clothes that reflect that era in Western cultures. The most current aesthetics, nevertheless, are also of use.
Plastic Art | Art forms (see Art Form) which involve physical manipulation of a plastic medium by molding (see Molding) or modeling such as sculpture (see Sculpture) or ceramics (see Ceramics). Less often the term may be used broadly for all the visual arts (such as painting, sculpture, film and photography), as opposed to literature and music. Materials for use in the plastic arts, in the narrower definition, include those that can be carved or shaped, such as stone or wood, concrete, glass, or metal.
Pornographic Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product). It depicts the naked (see Nude), semi-nude or even fully covered human body; in whole or in part, committing sexual acts (intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, intercrural intercourse, sumata, mammary intercourse, tribadism, frotteurism, exhibitionism, sadism, masochism, paraphilia, etc.), carrying out sexual functions (e.g., penile erections, ejaculations, vaginal secretions, orgasmic spasms, twitching, bucking, cavorting, etc.) for the purposes of inspiring libidinous thoughts and feelings in the observer, and creating scandal or social controversy.
Sexual imagery of this bluntness is commonly known as “hardcore pornography” to distinguish it from “softcore pornography” which is, actually, the erotic photography (see Erotic Photography) style (see Art Style).
Pornographic photography is intended to be sexually explicit (to shockingly and/or mockingly show sexual activity); the overtly and unabashedly antisocial motives, like form, appear to be not too dissimilar from those of graffiti (see Graffiti).
Equally controversial, is the fact that the imagery are integral niche products of an overall hardcore pornographic industry which; as well documented history has shown, often creates dire consequences for the niche product producers involved.
The industry is controlled by producers (mostly male), absorbs mostly intellectually, emotionally and socially shallow, insecure or even conceited, naïve, excessively impulsive and vulnerable people who crave considerable adoration and desire or envy from many – there are exceptions, and others who are disinclined to conform to the accepted mores of propriety, to be amateur and professional models and performers (mostly female) – the controllers and performers collectively being pornographers. The industry reduces their individual senses of self-worth, and abandons them when they are in further degraded mental and social states. States which often include familial ostracism, marginalization, loneliness, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, incurring sexually transmitted diseases with chronic or fatal adverse symptoms and many other issues. The ability of the industry to thrive; nevertheless, seems to be rooted in a large portion of society remaining ignorant of the behind-the-scenes human degradation and dysfunction that has been exposed or that population’s dissociation from it. These phenomena allow the niche market (see Niche Market) to continue covertly, privately or overtly taking interests in the imagery and pornographers to such an extent that the industry remains on the edge of becoming mainstream.
The niche product is powerful and potentially addictive imagery that portrays intimacy, affection, sexual encounters, personalities and lifestyles (see Fetish Photography) that the niche market strongly desires to be connected to but may never be able to experience in real life due to a fear of being negatively judged and treated by others. Pornographic photography is also used in the promotion of a wide range related niche products and services such as adult films, the film makers and performers, exotic dancers, strip clubs, sex clubs, sex parties, periodicals, sex toys and other merchandise, sex workers and more where such things are decriminalized or legalized.
Despite many refusing to acknowledge pornographic photography as art (see Art) for ethical reasons, it is a form (see Art Form) of commercial art (see Commercial Art) and commercial photography (see Commercial Photography) because in current times it appears to be produced for utility as frequently or almost as frequently as it is made for aesthetics and/or conveying and analyzing concepts.
Portrait Photography | A highly challenging, potentially personal, sometimes controversial and extremely popular subcategory or style (see Art Style) of social photography (see Social Photography) that includes various genres (see Art Genre) that can also be niche products (see Niche Product) aiming to capture not just the physical likeness of a person or group of people but the personalities of such subjects (see Subject), usually in a single image. The techniques that can be applied with the genres are also considerably diverse.
Product Photography | A still life (see Still Life and Still Life Photography), and advertising (see Advertising Photography) genre (see Art Genre) in which niche product (see Niche Product) images of merchandise are created with the intent of acquiring the interest of buyers of the items.
Prom Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) styles (see Art Style) which produces niche products (see Niche Product) for families (see Family Photography) who seek portraits commemorating the time in the life of a secondary school student in their 11th grade (junior) or 12th grade (senior) proms or a prom combining both grades. A prom or promenade dance may be the first major formal event that someone will attend in their life, and may indicate their coming of age. In that respect, prom photography is a cross between senior (see Senior Photography) and grad photography (see Graduation Photography) but mostly resembling the more glamourous (see Glamour Photography) former than the latter.
Provenance | The chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object. Often, art is accompanied by documentation, commonly known as provenance, that confirms its authenticity mainly through ownership history. Good provenance (ownership history) leaves no doubt that a work of art is genuine and by the artist who it is stated to be by or whose signature it bears. The provenance of works of fine art (see Fine Art), antiques and antiquities are of great importance, especially to their owner. There are various reasons why painting provenance is important, which mostly also apply to other types of fine art. A good provenance increases the value of a painting, and establishing provenance may help confirm the date, artist and, especially for portraits, the subject of a painting. It may confirm whether a painting is genuinely of the period it seems to date from. The provenance of paintings can help resolve ownership disputes. For example, provenance between 1933 and 1945 can determine whether a painting was looted by the Nazis. Many galleries put a great deal of effort into researching the provenance of paintings in their collections for which there is no firm provenance during that period.
Proximity | The appearance of physical closeness between different components in a work of visual art (see Visual Art). By placing parts close together, the mind can see the parts as one thing, a mass. The more that negative space (see Negative Space) or “empty space” is limited, the more unified (see Unity) the areas of a composition may feel. Proximity is not to be confused with juxtaposition (see Juxtaposition) in art, which is done with the intent of creating contrast (see Contrast).
Real Estate Photography | (see Architectural Photography).
Realism | A genre and effort to create visual art that realistically or “truthfully” represents something as it likely would be seen to the unaided eye, and a 19th century art movement (always spelled with a capital R when specifically referring to the movement).
Rear Curtain Sync | Sometimes called “second-curtain sync;” it is a slow sync flash function that tells a camera to fire the flash at the end of an exposure; such as when the shutter is pressed, the lens opens up and starts collecting light and just before it closes the flash will fire to light up and freeze the main subject. If the subject was moving during the exposure, the subject will be crisp in the image while having a motion trail.
Regulated Space | Any physical location (e.g., an art gallery or street alley) or non-physical location (e.g., a virtual reality environment) that is owned or controlled by a person or faction, in which artwork may be installed and exhibited.
Rendering | The process of illustrating objects or scenes in artwork by including shading, colour and texture as opposed to only basic lines and curves.
Renaissance Art | Painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and literature (see High Art) produced during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries in Europe under the combined influences of an increased awareness of nature, a revival of classical learning, and a more individualistic view of the human condition.
Repetition | Within a composition (see Composition [visual art]), the use of repetition will ensure a feeling of unity (see Unity) in the mind of a viewer. Tessellations (see Tessellation) are an obvious example of how repetition unifies a composition. Repetition can also unify an entire series of artworks (see Art Series), like a group of paintings. A certain shape, object or texture that is repeated among a group of paintings acts as a motif (see Motif), helping each painting to feel as though it is part of a greater whole.
Reportage Photography | (see Document Photography).
Representational Art | Artwork created to signify something else (i.e., a portrait photograph is a representation of someone’s physical likeness).
Rhythm | In visual art (see Visual Art), rhythm is a principle of design that suggests movement or action. Rhythm is usually achieved through repetition of lines, shapes, colors, and more. It creates a visual tempo in artworks and provides a path for the viewer’s eye to follow.
Risk | The probability during a period of activity that a hazard (see Hazard) will result in an incident with definable consequences.Risk Assessment | A step in a risk management process. Risk assessment is the determination of size, magnitude, or quality of risk (see Risk) related to a concrete situation and a recognized threat (also called hazard [see Hazard]). It consists of an objective evaluation of risk in which assumptions and uncertainties are clearly considered and presented. Risk assessments may be conducted in conjunction with hazard assessments (see Hazard Assessment).
Salon | From the seventeenth century to the early part of the twentieth century, artistic production in France was controlled by artistic academies which organized official exhibitions called salons. In a traditional salon-style exhibition, even in a contemporary art gallery (see Art Gallery), artwork, especially 2D art (see 2D Art) is displayed from floor to ceiling. In a museum-style exhibition, on the other hand, art is hung on walls or otherwise displayed in a single horizontal row at eye-level, which is probably most common in galleries today.
Sculpture | The branch of the visual arts (see Visual Art) that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts (see Plastic Art). Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism (see Modernism), there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast.
Senior Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of portrait photography (see Portrait Photography) and social photography (see Social Photography) styles (see Art Style) which produces niche products (see Niche Product) for families (see Family Photography) who seek portraits commemorating the time in the life of a student in their fourth and final year of secondary or post-secondary education. Specifically, the “coming out” from childhood and dependence on the family, and becoming more independent and mature. The niche market (see Niche Market) remains largely based in the United States; presumed by many inside and outside of the US to be due to the nation’s cultural inclination to take nearly any opportunity to openly display pride in nearly any achievement. Graduation photography (see Graduation Photography) remains as the more widely practiced and formal style. The niche market also leans most heavily toward glamourous (see Glamour Photography) portraits of the nation’s daughters than its sons.
Setup | In photography and videography, a setup is the arrangement of lighting and light modifiers with supports in a studio or other location in order to achieve the desired aesthetics in imagery. Three-point lighting is the standard form of professional lighting in video production and still photography. It involves using three light sources placed in three different positions.
Shading | The depiction of depth perception in 3D models in two-dimensional visual art (see 2D Art) by varying levels of darkness.
Shape | An element of art (see Art Elements) that is a two-dimensional area that is defined in some way. A shape may have an outline around it or it may be recognized it by its area.
Shell | (a.k.a.: “seashell”) A hard, protective exoskeleton of an invertebrate (an animal lacking a spinal column) that lives in a sea, lake, river, stream or brook. Invertebrates include snails, bivalves (clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops, etc.), squids, octopi and many other species. After the animal has died, and its soft parts have either been consumed by another animal or decomposed, its empty shell may be found washed up on shores and beaches. Shells are typically composed of calcium carbonate or chitin. Most shells that are found on beaches are the shells of marine mollusks (clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops, squids, octopi), partly because these shells are usually made of calcium carbonate, and endure longer than shells made of chitin.
Simplicity | The deliberate reduction in the amount of potential variety (see Variety) in visual art (see Visual Art). For example, a graphite pencil drawing is likely to exhibit some measure of unity (see Unity), given the lack of colour. By eliminating colour, the image is simpler than it potentially could have been if colour was introduced.
Shoot Date | The actual date on which a photography shoot is carried out.
Shutter Speed | The speed at which the shutter of the camera closes. A fast shutter speed creates a shorter exposure — the amount of light the camera takes in to create an image on film or charge-coupled device (CCD) — and a slow shutter speed gives the photographer a longer exposure.Slow Sync Flash | A function on many cameras that tells a camera to shoot with a longer shutter speed while firing the flash. This permits a relatively sharp image of the main subject as well as gets some ambient light from the background and foreground. Some cameras allow access to slow sync flash manually and set exposure length and flash strength but on many compact cameras there is a little less control given and it’s presented as an automatic shooting mode often called “night mode” or “party mode” where the camera selects the slower shutter speed and flash strength for the photographer. Cameras that offer some manual control when it comes to slow sync flash typically offer two options called “rear curtain sync” and “front curtain sync”. When using a slow synch flash mode a decision must be made as to whether or not to use a tripod to ensure crispness throughout an image or creatively permit some motion blur.
SMM | Social Media Marketing the use of SMMP’s and blogs in self-promotion.
SMMP | Social Media Management Platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, Twitter and Google+).
Solvent | A liquid that is used to dissolve a solid material. Thinners, turpentines, mineral spirits, xylenes, driers, varnishes (not usually used to break down solids), pen and airbrush cleaning fluids, glues, fixatives, chemicals for processing film negatives and photographs are common types of solvents used in the creation of artwork. In addition, inks and paint pigments contain limited amounts of solvents to inhibit premature drying. Conversely, solvents are sometimes applied to wet paint in open air, and in the presence of a chemical binder (e.g., linseed oil [see Linseed Oil]) in order to thin pigments and hasten drying (this is using such a substance more as a dilutent than a solvent) or affix graphite to supportive illustration stock.
Social Documentary Photography | (see Document Photography).
Social Photography | (a.k.a.: “lifestyle photography”) A subcategory of assignment photography (see Assignment Photography) that consists of various other styles (see Art Style) and genres (see Art Genre) that are also niche products (see Niche Product) that feature people or the events or circumstances that they are emersed in (e.g., family portraits and weddings).
Soft Light | Light that tends to “wrap” around objects, casting shadows with soft edges. The softness of the light depends mostly on the following two factors:
- Distance – the closer the light source to the subject, the softer the light becomes, and
- Size of light source – the larger the light source, the softer the light becomes.
Soft light is used:
- To cast shadow-less light;
- Be fill lighting – soft light can reduce shadows without creating additional shadows;
- Make a portrait subject appear more beautiful or youthful through making wrinkles less visible; and
- Supplement the lighting from practicals.
This technique is used to perform “motivated” lighting, where all light in the scene appears to come from practical light sources in the scene. Soft light does not cast shadows that would be a giveaway of a supplementary light source. Soft light can be created by using diffusion gel or aiming a lighting instrument at diffusing material such as a silk. When shooting outdoors, cloud cover provides nature’s version of a softbox.
Solvent | A liquid that is used to dissolve a solid material. Thinners, turpentines, mineral spirits, xylenes, driers, varnishes (not usually used to break down solids), pen and airbrush cleaning fluids, glues, fixatives, chemicals for processing film negatives and photographs are common types of solvents used in the creation of artwork. In addition, inks and paint pigments contain limited amounts of solvents to inhibit premature drying. Conversely, solvents are sometimes applied to wet paint in open air, and in the presence of a chemical binder (e.g., linseed oil) in order to thin pigments and hasten drying (this is using such a substance more as a dilutant than a solvent) or affix graphite to supportive illustration stock.
Space | The area around, above, and within an object.
Sports Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of mainly editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that which produces niche products (see Niche Product) featuring the candid recording of sports and athletics, the performance, careers and lives of athletes, and the business of the amateur and professional sports world. Sometimes, sports photography is accompanied by fitness photography (see Fitness Photography).
Spray Fixative | A liquid, like varnish, which is usually sprayed over a finished piece of artwork, usually a dry media artwork (see Art), to better preserve it and prevent smudging. Artwork media requiring fixative include drawings done in pencil (see Pencil), charcoal, and pastel. An artist will often fix layers of a work in progress, in order to easily add further layers. Such a technique requires a workable fixative as opposed to a final fixative which is used after all artwork is completed. Fixative is most commonly available in aerosol sprays.
Modern fixatives are usually alcohol based, and hydrocarbon (organic compound) propelled. Certain manufacturers produce fixatives that are specified for a certain media only, such as soft pastel fixatives. Modern fixatives are elevated in quality in terms of transparency, colourlessness, age-resistance and UV resistance, which prevents yellowing and fading caused by exposure to light.
Still Life | Realist (see Realism) visual art (see Visual Art) that mainly depicts an arrangement of typically commonplace inanimate objects which are either natural (food, flowers, rocks, shells, etc.) or man-made (toys, cups, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, etc.).
Still Life Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of photography often depicting small groupings of inanimate subject matter (see Subject) which are either natural (food, flowers, rocks, shells, etc.) or man-made (toys, cups, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, etc.). It is both a modern (see Modern Art) and contemporary (see Contemporary Art) genre of still life (see Still Life) visual art (see Visual Art) that began to be created long before advent of modern photography (see Modern Photography).
Still Photography | An umbrella term for a photograph that is neither a video nor motion picture, or any photographic discipline that is not videography or cinematography.
Stone | A hard earthen substance that can form large rocks.
Street Art | Murals (see Mural) and other visual art (see Visual Art) that are created in public spaces for public visibility. It has been associated with the terms “independent art”, “post-graffiti (see Graffiti)”, “neo-graffiti” and guerrilla art. It differs from graffiti primarily in the fact that works of art are established with the permission of property owners, whereas graffiti is largely an artistic expression through defiance and conflict that is exercised against others without consent.
Street Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of photography featuring subjects (see Subject), often being people, in candid situations within public places (indoor/outdoor). While some argue that it is a style (see Art Style), it is the typically heavy reliance on styles to create a work of street photography, and less consideration of the photographic medium that usually characterizes street photography as a genre. The fundamental aspect of photographing subjects (see Subject), especially people, without their prior knowledge is critical to recording completely natural behaviour in everyday circumstances in order to tell a story; and make an expression (see Artistic Expression) about life and the human condition.
There are enough similarities between street photography, documentary photography (see Documentary Photography) and photojournalism to cause all three to be misconstrued as the same, mainly because they all heavily involve capturing candid moments of real-life. There are critical differences; nevertheless.
Documentary photography tries to record all the broad aspects of the human experience through one or more images. Street photography, on the other hand, focusses on capturing a single random moment in time, even with many facets, through a single photograph at a specific location.
Photojournalism is practiced observing strict ethics concerning the recording of people’s lives and likenesses. For street photography, there are no rules to follow whatsoever.
As a fine art (see Fine Art) street photography is exhibited (see Art Exhibition and Art Exhibit), published, collected (see Art Collector) and even practiced in only very select countries, regions and markets because of the high likelihood that the niche products (see Niche Product) will be images of people or places taken without permission, and the taking of such images without consent may violate specific privacy laws of many jurisdictions.
Study | Artwork (see Art) that is a detailed and constructively critical survey of aesthetics.
Subject | In general, subject may be thought of as the “what” in a piece of art (see Art); the topic, focus, or image. The most common subjects of art include people (portraiture), arrangements of objects (still-life), the natural world (landscape), and abstractions (non-objective or non-figurative).
A portrait is an artistic representation of a person, such as a drawing, photograph, or sculpture. Portraiture is one of the most popular genres (see Art Genre) for artists (see Artist).
Throughout history, still-life work has been one of the most popular types of art. While they are arranged in many ways, still-life composition is the building block for drawings, paintings, and photography.
Non-objective art (see Abstract Art) is defined by its use of geometric forms that suggest simplicity and purity. By using shapes, patterns, sharp edges, and often bright colors, non-objective art displays interesting and imaginative work.
A landscape is an artwork whose primary focus is natural scenery, such as mountains, forests, rivers, and rocks. A landscape can take many forms, including a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, or an etching.
While the subject is the main focus object in a work of art, the content is the overall meaning of the piece.
An emotively, spiritually, intellectually, socially or even politically relatable subject is highly important to a fine art (see Fine Art) collector (see Art Collector).
Support | In the visual arts, the term “support” generally refers to any material on which any drawing, painting or writing medium is applied. In photography and videography, the term (a.k.a.: “rigging”) applies to monopods, tripods and accessories, sliders, gimbals, track systems, Steadicams, support vests and any other equipment used to hold cameras, lighting and backdrops in a required position, or used to add a special feature or enhance the functionality of a camera, such as creating stability, adding a lens filter and more that will enable a photographer to capture an image or video.
Sustainable | Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz defines “sustainable” products as having:
- Customer satisfaction: any products or services that do not meet customer needs will not survive in the market in a long term.
- Dual focus: compared with purely environmental products, sustainable products focus both on ecological and social significance.
- Life-cycle orientation: a sustainable product is constantly environmental-friendly during its entire life. That is, from the moment the raw materials are extracted to the moment the final product is disposed of, there must be no permanent damage to the environment.
- Significant improvements: sustainable products must contribute to dealing with socio-ecological problems on a global level, or provide measurable improvements in socio-ecological product performance.
- Continuous improvement: since the state of knowledge, technologies and societal expectation keep on developing, so sustainable products should also be continuously improved regarding social and environmental variation.
- Competing offers: sustainable products may still lag behind competing offers; therefore, the competing offers may serve as a benchmark regarding social and ecological performance.
e.g., original art made partially or totally from recycled materials, images printed on tree-free and chlorine-free media without solvent inks on vinyl canvas that off gas toxic chemicals that are known respiratory toxins and neurotoxins, etc.
Sustainability may also be applied to art-making implements.
Symbolism | The use of objects or arrangements in visual art (see Visual Art) to represent an alternate meaning. Symbolism is fundamental to creating artwork beyond the elements (see Art Elements) and principles of art (see Art Principles).
Sync Speed | The sync speed is the fastest speed at which the entire film or charge-coupled device (CCD) in a camera can be open to light from a photography flash unit. This is determined by how fast the shutter curtains move. At speeds faster than the sync speed, the slit that travels across the film or CCD sensor inside a camera narrows.
Tear Sheet | A cover or page that is torn or sliced from a publication featuring the work of an artist (tear sheets are not exclusive to artists or the arts industry), that can be used by the artist as part of his or her portfolio or other means of self-promotion (e.g., online artist’s portfolio, website, blog, etc.). As tear sheets are often digitized or originally digital in the modern computer era for displaying online or other means of communication and advertising, they are sometimes referred to as electronic tear sheets or virtual tear sheets.
Technical Illustration | A genre of illustration used to visually and expressively communicate technical information of how something appears or functions, often to a non-technical observer.
Tension | A balance (see Balance) maintained in an artistic work (such as a poem, painting, or musical composition) between opposing forces or elements; a controlled dramatic or dynamic quality. Wildlife artist Robert Bateman has frequently created tension by depicting animals near the edge of his paintings, and with their bodies and faces either pointing away from the center of the image or away from the viewer. In graphic design, it is common to create tension by positioning shapes, text or pictures asymmetrically. Often, artwork that is believed to contain tension deliberately makes viewers uncomfortable or question their own thinking by disregarding rules or preconceived notions about how art should be created. For example, some people grew up being falsely taught in schools that illustrating a scene with the horizon line deliberately placed on an angle instead of horizontally is improper. Artistic expression (see Artistic Expression) is not so restricted, actually, and a tilted horizon is the best approach. Still, some of such people become highly critical of artwork that violate this long held belief.
Tessellation | The tiling of a plane using one or more geometric shapes or other images, called tiles, without overlapping and without gaps between the tiles.
Texture | The way an object feels to the touch or looks as it may feel if it were touched. Texture is one of the seven elements of art (see Art Elements).
Theatre Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) in advertising photography (see Advertising Photography), and sometimes editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that features independent and mainstream stage performers performing or preparing to perform, as well as scenery, prop or stage design. The resulting images are niche products (see Niche Product) for stakeholders of a performance who need to use such pictures to promote the performance. Theatre photography is analogous to unit photography (see Unit Photography) which is used in the promotion of cinematic performances.
Tone | In visual art (see Visual Art) tone refers to the lightness or darkness of a colour. Each colour has a nearly infinite number of tones from lightest being nearly pure white to darkest being nearly pure black. Tone is a central point in colour theory, and an essential tool for all artists (see Artist).
In photography, specifically, to tone or type is to alter a monochrome picture by applying an overall color cast in finishing by means of a chemical solution (e.g., selenium tone, metal replacement tone, dye tone, sepia tone, cyanotype, Daguerreotype, ambrotype, calotype, physautotype, tintype, etc.) or digital application (e.g., duotone, tritone, quadtone).
Trash the Dress Photography | (a.k.a.: “rock the frock photography” and “fearless bridal photography”, although almost never referred to by the latter two terms) Originating in fashion photography (see Fashion Photography), it is a creative but controversial style (see Art Style) of portraiture (see Portrait Photography) that is a niche product (see Niche Product) usually featuring a bride deliberately ruining her wedding dress shortly after a wedding, and in an apparently liberating manner. Sometimes a dress is destroyed after a divorce, and sometimes a trash the dress photo shoot (see Photography Shoot) involves a couple wreaking havoc on both of their formal wedding attire.
As the destruction of formal weeding attire is key, trash the dress photography is most closely associated with wedding photography (see Wedding Photography) which is actually a form of event photography (see Event Photography). As a bride, newlywed couple or divorcée wearing the subjects (see Subject) of destruction at the time of their annihilation is also of high importance, trash the dress portraiture can also be associated with family photography (see Family Photography).
The controversy surrounding trash the dress is in regards to the criticism of a “throwaway society” that could instead recycle (see Circular Economy and Sustainable) expensive, fashionable and typically single-use wedding gowns and suits by cheaply selling or donating them to people who might not be able to afford them.
Travel Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of advertising photography (see Advertising Photography) that is often a niche product (see Niche Product), and closely related to adventure (see Adventure Photography) and other photography styles and genres (some insist that adventure and travel photography are different names for exactly the same thing). It is the recording of the actual experience of visiting a place in order to learn about its natural environment, people, cultures, customs and history, and to express the potential for others to have such an experience.
Underwater Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) of which the resulting images are niche products (see Niche Product) of anything recorded under any body of water.
Unit Photography | A genre (see Art Genre) in advertising photography (see Advertising Photography), and sometimes editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that features independent and mainstream motion picture (a.k.a.: “film”) and television production performers performing or preparing to perform, as well as stunt work, scenery, prop or special effects design. The resulting images are niche products (see Niche Product) for stakeholders of a motion picture who need to use such pictures to promote the performance. When the focus is on creating still images of select motion picture scenes, the products are often referred to as unit still photography. Unit photography is analogous to theatre photography (see Theatre Photography) which is used in the promotion of theatrical performances.
Unity | The principle of art (see Art Principles) that gives an artwork a feeling of “oneness” by making the separate parts of a piece work together. Unity and harmony are similar, but unity is broader. There are numerous ways to create unity in art. Some of those ways are particular to an individual artist’s style. Different from the elements of art (see Art Elements), unity is an impression – a feeling the artwork conveys to the viewer. One can imagine a solitary shape and hold that shape in the mind. One cannot, however, simply imagine unity and hold that concept in the mind. We must evaluate unity by looking and analyzing. Therefore, developing unity in artworks requires the artist to pay attention to its development throughout the process of creating. Some proven methods that ensure a unified composition include simplicity, repetition and proximity.
Unusual | A way to create emphasis (see Emphasis) in a visual art (see Visual Art) composition (see Composition [visual art]) is to have an element (see Art Elements) stand-out because it is so different – a round object among angular shapes, a line of people with one facing the wrong way.
Urban Exploration | (often shortened as urbex, UE, bexing, urbexing and sometimes known as roof-and-tunnel hacking) The exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment. Landscape photography, fine art photography, editorial photography (especially fashion) and historical interest/documentation are heavily featured in the hobby and, although it may sometimes involve trespassing onto private property, this is not always the case. Urbex or urban exploration may also be referred to as draining (an alternate form of urbexing where drains are explored), urban spelunking, urban rock climbing, urban caving, or building hacking.
The nature of this activity presents various risks, including both physical danger and, if done illegally and/or without permission, the possibility of arrest and punishment. Some activities associated with urban exploration violate local or regional laws and certain broadly interpreted anti-terrorism laws or can be considered trespassing or invasion of privacy.
Value | The lightness or darkness of a colour. For an example, there are many shades of the colour of grey that are referred to as grey values. Some consider white to be a colour because it comprises all hues on the visible light spectrum. Many also consider black to be a colour because the combination of all other colour pigments may create black or a colour referred to as mud, on paper. Technically; however, black and white are not colours, they are shades because they augment colors by making them lighter or darker. On a grey scale, white is designated as 0, and black is given the designation of 10 or 100%. The grey values in between range from 1 or 1% being the lightest grey, to 9 or 90% being the darkest grey. These measured values can be ascribed to any other colour. Value is one of the seven elements of art (see Art Elements).
Value is also the respect – a regard that typically cannot be measured by any scale or unit that can be recognized by all, that art (see Art) is perceived by a viewer to deserve. This secondary definition is controversial in that much of contemporary society has been narrowly conditioned to perceive financial worth as the ultimate value of anything, as though all other definitions of value have been rendered archaic since the advent of money. The other definitions; nevertheless, remain part of the meaning of the word, and this definition in the context of respecting art is strongly aligned.
Variety | The principle of art (see Art Principles) that adds interest to an artwork. Variety works through juxtaposition (see Juxtaposition) and contrast (see Contrast). when different visual elements (see Art Elements) are placed next to one another. Straight lines next to curvy lines add variety. Organic shapes among geometric shapes add variety. Bright colors next to dull colors add variety (if an artist uses variety to draw the viewers’ attention to a specific area in a composition [see Composition (visual art)] then variety morphs into emphasis [see Emphasis], which is another principle of art [art principles often overlap]).
Visual Art | Are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts (photography, video, and film-making [new media art]) and architecture.
Visual Weight | The visual force that appears in artwork due to the contrast of light among the visual elements that compound it. The visual weight is a visual force which prevails in the image balance. Every element in a work of art exerts a visual force that attracts the eye of the viewer. The greater the force, the more the eye is attracted. These forces also appear to act on other elements, imparting a visual direction to their potential movement and suggesting where you should look next. Elements with the most visual weight have dominance (see Dominance).
Voice | An artistic style that is distinct and usually recognizable in the work of a specific artist as a result of the artist having unique life and creative experiences, inspirations, adhering to certain materials, techniques, themes and color palette, and using most or all of them together most or all the time to create art — because of the impact of personal experiences, an artistic voice may change over time.
Vulgar | In the context of judging whatever may be argued as being artistic (see Art), most of the world’s scholars and professionals concerned with high art (see High Art) tend to agree that vulgarities are the thinking, resultant outcomes, and interests of the masses, not the elite. It is common for collectors (see Art Collector) and other purveyors of art to disregard art that they perceive as vulgar. The experts caution; however, that just because a work of art may be regarded as vulgar, it still has meaning (see Meaning) – not necessarily value (see Value), as a work of art. Art, of which there may be agreement among the elite as being vulgar, still deserves to be embraced as artwork, not hastily mocked or ignored out of hand (see Kitsch). A viewer ought to not be so smug about one’s own taste (see Artistic Taste) that one is willing to deny someone else’s sense of taste in art. Taste in art is highly subjective.
War Photography | A highly dangerous genre (see Art Genre) of editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) that is closely associated with documentary photography (see Documentary Photography) and photojournalism. The resulting images are niche products (see Niche Product) that are the visual records of virtually every aspect of a war.
Waste Art Media | Unwanted or unusable art media that must be disposed of in an eco-friendly (see Eco-Friendly) manner.
Wastewater | Unwanted liquid generated by the production of art containing a mixture of water and various art media in virtually any chemical consistency that must be disposed of in an eco-friendly (see Eco-Friendly) manner.
Wedding Photography | A style (see Art Style) of event photography (see Event Photography) that is a niche product (see Niche Product) featuring the moments and circumstances of a wedding. Wedding photography is often associated with family photography (see Family Photography), although the latter is a form of portraiture (see Portrait Photography).
Western Art | The literary, performing (see Performance Art), and visual arts (see Visual Art) of Europe and regions that share a European cultural tradition, including North America.
White Space | In page layout, illustration and sculpture, white space is often referred to as negative space (see Negative Space). It is the portion of a page left unmarked: margins, gutters, and space between columns, lines of type, graphics, figures, or objects drawn or depicted. The term arises from graphic design practice, where printing processes generally use white paper. White space should not be considered merely “blank” space — it is an important element of design which enables the objects in it to exist at all; the balance between positive (or non-white) and the use of negative spaces is key to aesthetic composition. Inexpert use of white space, however, can make a page appear incomplete.
Wild Art | Alternative art that is not to be confused with outsider art (see Outsider Art) that isn’t created within the mainstream art world, but features unconventional ideas through reasonably sophisticated artistic expression or even kitsch (see Kitsch) which isn’t created with considerable artistic conceptualization or skill. The genre is analogous to wild animals versus domesticated animals. Although spreading new ideas and ways of thinking and seeing like Avant Garde art (see Avant-Garde Art), wild art is neither a leader nor inspirer of social advancement or artistic innovation as Avant-Garde art has been. Despite this lack of recognition by the art establishment, the border between wild art and fine art is nebulous; therefore, more accepted by the mainstream art world that outsider art.Wildlife Photography | An extremely popular but challenging genre (see Art Genre) of nature (see Nature Photography) and editorial photography (see Editorial Photography) styles (see Art Style) which creates niche products (see Niche Product) depicting all possible forms of untamed animals existing in their natural environments. The photography genre is practiced by novices, enthusiasts, and professionals alike.