Thursday 21st March – Jim Hartje – My Photography – Fine Art or Creative Expression?


Photography has struggled since its inception to be recognised as a fine art. To the uninitiated it has been deemed to be merely a reproductive medium in which the end product was clear. The input of the photographer as an artist was considered as simply a technician who “operated the medium” and, in that way, produced the photograph. With the advances made in Digital Imaging and manipulation –  can photographs now be construed as art?

Originally from Surrey Jim Hartje moved to Peterborough in 1974 with a young family and got really interested in photography as they grew up. He has been a member of Peterborough Photographic Society since 1981 and he is now their Web Master. He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, a North & East Midlands Photographic Federation Lecturer and a Photographic Alliance of Great Britain Judge. He is also the holder of the Excellence FIAP, and British Photographic Exhibition 5 Crown distinctions – through successful participation in both national & international exhibitions.

In his formative years, Jim dabbled in both monochrome & colour printing, but was more widely known for his derivative work in the darkroom in Pictorial Slides, and Natural History – with his Wide Angle Fungi shots in Habitat.

Jim has always been fascinated by computers which have now become a creative aid to his photography. He says: ‘The transition from film to digital capture now kind of gives you a second chance to get it right if you did not quite achieve that at the time of taking. I firmly believe that there is not a camera in existence that will take the perfect picture as you actually see it at the time, so there is always the need for some, if only minor, tweaking.’

Jim takes his images on Canon 35mm digital cameras and tries to break away from the rules and constraints of traditional photographs through the use of a bit of creative license. ‘My tidying up, manipulation – call it what you will – is now done mostly in PHOTOSHOP and the plethora of other associated software available, which, some might say, now takes photography to another level and could be described as Fine Art or Creative Expression.’

Having been on the list of PAGB Judges for many years, Jim gets invited to judge competitions and be a selector for Exhibitions, from your Monthly Club Competition right through to the major internationals.

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