A Guide For Purchasing Fine Art Landscape Photography
This Photography Buyers Guide will give you tips to guide you as you look for museum-quality fine art landscape photography prints to purchase for your home or office. I will discuss a series of questions and topics beginning with:
Why Purchase Fine Art Landscape Photography?
Some collectors are interested in fine art landscape photography for its aesthetical characteristics; some see art as an investment; other collectors purchase fine art landscape prints because they truly love the print and want it in the home. As a collector, you need to understand why you are wanting to purchase a fine art print.
Ask yourself why you need or want a piece of art. Are you buying for pure investment? Looking to acquire something to fill up a blank wall? Want to impress others?
As a reminder, fine art photography is about what the artist is feeling from what they are seeing and how to convey that feeling. A fine art photograph must deeply express the feelings of the photographer and clearly reveal that it was created by an artist and not by just the camera.
Establish a Realistic Budget and Identify/Prioritize Your Wants
Just as with all household budgets, there is no formula for the magic price point… it is a balance between what you are willing to spend and what you can truly afford. Pick a price point that you are comfortable with – one that you are happy with and able to pay… just for the pleasure of looking at the art in your chosen space. Make sure you also factor in the ancillary costs – will you need to pay for installation or framing?
Are you looking for just one photograph to tie a room together? A grouping? A fine art print to go over the bed or over the family room fireplace? What are your short and long-range plans for interior decorating and what role does fine art photography play in your plans?
Knowing Where to Look
The first step is to educate yourself by reading and visiting galleries and places where fine art can be purchased. Some great examples are:
Finding a Landscape Print at a Craft Fair or Local Art Show - If you are interested in purchasing landscape photography while enjoying the camaraderie of others, then a weekend art and craft fair would be a great place to go. One nice aspect of attending these fairs is that you can often talk to the artist and find out more about him/her and even consider becoming a collector of their work.
Brick and Mortar Art and Photography Galleries - visit local Art Galleries to see what they have to offer. A Photography Gallery of an individual photographer will generally have more prints on the walls to see. However, most photographers, like myself, have hundreds of fine art images and the gallery is limited to a small sampling and what you are looking for may not be on the wall. The reality is that there are also very few individual Photography Galleries as they are mostly in a few high-traffic areas of a select number of cities.
Purchasing from an Online Photography Gallery - The internet has created a world where finding and purchasing a fine art landscape print can be done from the comfort of your home and at a time convenient to you, the buyer. There is no sales pressure and there is unlimited time to view and reflect on what you want to purchase.
Purchasing Direct from the Photographer – You could work with an individual professional online photographer who can offer you a stunning photograph at a cost-effective price. These photographs will be unique and are often limited-edition prints. These purchases are much more of an investment than a purchase from a mass seller.
Know What you Want to Buy and Why
Part of the reason to do some looking is to determine what you want to buy… to think about what you would like to purchase and why. Do you like mountain scenes? What about waterfalls or beach or oceanfront landscape scenes? Other thoughts are:
Should you consider matching colors in the room? Matching colors may provide a more soothing and restful feel. On the other hand, a colorful image can add a certain amount of “pop” and be a wonderful focal point for the room.
Do You Love It? - There are lots of factors that determine what is a “good” image or a worthwhile investment, but ultimately what matters is you. If you’ve fallen in love with a piece, then everything else falls away. All that is important is that you’re happy to look at that photograph on your wall for years to come. Buy what you love and you will not regret it.
Things to Look for When Choosing a Fine Art Landscape Print
Limited Edition - Photographs and prints gain value through the scarcity of editions. By limiting the number of copies of a single image, photographers can control how much the work is worth.
Craftsmanship - The skill of the photographer, the consistency of their portfolio, and the caliber of the equipment are considerations that are very important. Read the photographer’s biography and learn how the photograph was made. An image may take mere seconds to capture with the click of the camera, but it takes years of experience and knowledge to know how to make the most of those few seconds.
What Is The Right Size To Purchase? - A Fine Art Print is expensive and realizing after you hang it on the wall you should have purchased a larger size can be an expensive lesson to learn. Yes, cost is a factor, but properly filling the wall space is important. You will find detailed information on this website in regards to my Room Preview option and other comments regarding sizing.
Hanging Your Fine Art Landscape Photograph On The Wall
Where to hang your artwork on the wall can always be a little bit of a struggle as you determine how high to hang it above the floor or pieces of furniture. Once again, there are some excellent online articles and guides available if you are not working with an interior design expert.
Thoughts About Lighting
We all want our Fine Art Prints to look their very best. The nature of Lumachrome® HD Acrylic Print using TruLife® Acrylic prints, Metal Prints and the Fuji Crystal Archive Prints is that they come alive with a certain brilliance when light is applied to them.
You may not have track lighting or recessed ceiling lights to provide the perfect lighting. Many of us have to rely on natural light coming in through the windows or other room lighting. This doesn't mean your prints cannot have impact, just not as much as if special lighting is applied.
The next best thing to special lighting is a well-lit room from indirect sunlight. The TruLife® Acrylic does an amazing job of reducing what glare there is while the metallic nature of the printing surface uses the natural light to reflect the details of print. Direct sunlight is always a no-no, as it causes glare, reflections and can eventually reduce the vibrancy of the print.
Caring for a Fine Art Landscape Print
Keeping any artwork in an area of controlled temperature and humidity is of primary importance. You would always want to keep direct sunlight off of any artwork as it could cause fading of the colors in the print or fading of the frame.
The FujiColor paper prints are best matted and framed under glare-resistant glass. Just like the Chromaluxe Metal Prints, the glass or metal can be cleaned with a lint-free microfiber cloth and a soft cleaner such as Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, Cleaners such as Windex work well.
According to the manufacturer's website, The Lumachrome® HD Trulife® Acrylic print should likewise be cleaned with a lint-free microfiber cloth and fragrance-free, dye-free mild dish detergent and distilled water solution. They say not to use glass cleaning sprays or acrylic cleaners.
If you are storing some of your art, create a dry space, away from sunlight and pack your art up in a storage blanket or bubble wrap. Ensure that the painting does not face the side you are taping up. If it is an unframed piece of art, cover the front of the canvas and then wrap using glassine paper, easily available in art galleries or even at an art shop.
I'm Here To Answer Any Questions
These are just a few thoughts in my Landscape Photography Buyers Guide but you may have other questions or concerns. Unless I’m out in the middle of nowhere photographing, I’m available to answer any questions you may have. Just drop me a note on my Contact page, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.