December 2, 2023

How to collect photography

4 min read
How to collect photography

How one

How to collect photography

Photography is an art form that is as diverse as it is widespread, thanks to its accessibility and the variety of tools and techniques available. With a rich and relatively recent history of pushing the boundaries of art, photography remains an exciting frontier for experimentation and expression. Read on to learn the magic behind this often mysterious medium.

history of the medium

Saatchi Art Photographer and previously at One to Watch, Jonathan Ducrest.

photography has its roots in the camera obscura: Latin for “dark chamber”, this refers to a box (or an entire room) with a small hole through which rays of light from outside can project an upside-down image onto the opposite wall of the chamber. Although this phenomenon has been observed since ancient times, it was not until 1826 that French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the first known surviving permanent photograph using a camera obscura. What followed was a technological boom.

In 1839, Niépce’s partner, Louis Daguerre, introduced the Schneller daguerreotype Photographic process that yielded a clear, unique image on silver-plated copper. In the meantime, William Henry Fox Talbot was developing the paper-based technology in England calotype Process that produced photographic negatives that allowed multiple copies of an image to be printed. In 1888, George Eastman introduced the first handheld roll film camera kodakputting the power to take a picture in the hands of the general public.

At the turn of the 20th century, artists such as Alfred Stieglitz and Henri Cartier-Bresson attempted to elevate photography to fine art and to use the medium to produce aesthetically conscious images. However, some of the most famous photographs were not created under the pretense of art photography, but of documentation. For example, Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans worked with the United States government to document Americans affected by the Great Depression, capturing moving images that still resonate with audiences today. The boundary between fine art and slang Photography (the use of photography in scientific, promotional, personal, and political situations) makes the medium an exciting impetus for conversations about what art can be.

techniques and terms

1684158079 962 How to collect photography | Talkbacktheatre
Saatchi Art Artist Chloe McCarrick uses the cyanotype process in her mixed media works.
  • Analogous is a collective term for film as opposed to Digital Photography that allows you to take countless photos and edit them easily.
  • Black and white Photographs can be created using film or digital techniques for a timeless style.
  • gelatin silver Printing uses fibrous paper coated with silver halides suspended in gelatin, a common 20th-century process for black-and-white film photography.
  • C typechromogenic prints are made from photographic paper that has been exposed to color negatives.
  • cyanotype Photographs use chemicals that produce Prussian blue images when exposed to light.
  • double jeopardy refers to the overlaying of multiple exposures to create layered images.

styles and themes

1684158079 804 How to collect photography | Talkbacktheatre
In Bump, Hat Lagoon Anthony Ponzo blurs aerial landscapes with abstraction.

Photography invites artists to engage critically with the medium, largely for its purported ability to capture objective reality. Conceptual artists like Jeff Wall use photography to challenge the notion of a truthful image altogether, creating intricately staged and highly edited images photomontages that viewers register as real.

Many famous photographers, such as Nan Goldin and Carrie Mae Weems, also explore issues of bias and objectivity, using the medium to explore identity and underrepresented communities portrait painting and figurative work. Beyond the human figure, photographers are also experimenting with nature and landscape photography –Ansel Adams was an early proponent of the artistic potential of landscape photography. One of the world’s best-selling contemporary photographers, Andreas Gursky uses processes of digital manipulation to create imaginary landscapes that elude perception.

Collecting fine art photography

1684158080 180 How to collect photography | Talkbacktheatre
Collector’s favorite Xan Padron pitches his offer time lapse Photos of various sizes and display formats.

At Saatchi Art, we always encourage you to buy what you love. Given the immediate impact of photography, it’s easy to fall in love with a photo: look for the subjects, places and ideas that are close to your heart and you’re sure to find photos of them.

Photography is a great entry-level medium for art collecting. Since the photographs are often produced in editions, they can be purchased at affordable prices. In addition, their production process offers flexibility in terms of Sizescale and the materials they are printed on.

There are some practical considerations and conditions that you should know in order to buy this format this works for you:

  • Paper: Paper prints are a classic option and can be framed and matted.
    • Paper prints can be printed in various forms endsincluding matte, gloss or glossy.
    • syringes is a commonly used descriptive term inkjet Pigment based print on archival paper.
    • thoroughbred The prints are printed without a border and can be mounted on the edge of a frame for an elegant, dramatic effect.
    • The paper should be framed at the back UV safe made of glass and placed in places with low humidity and out of direct sunlight.
  • metal: Photos printed directly onto metal result in modern and durable displays, with finishes ranging from matte to glossy.
  • Plexi mount: Prints mounted behind acrylic plexiglass also make elegant, durable displays.

Ready to pick up? Discover the next addition to your art collection with Saatchi Art’s wide selection today original photography by emerging artists around the world and Contact our curators to learn more about the options available for custom photography.

Do you enjoy reading about everything related to art? You can have Canvas articles, curated collections and stories about emerging artists delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for the Saatchi Art newsletter.