Photograph above taken at Fly Creek Mill with a Leica M240
The Difference Between a Fine Art Print and a Work of Art
Most photographers have the ability and the technical know-how to create a fine art print. Meaning the image has the correct exposure, it's sharp, has good highlight and shadow detail, etc. However, mastering these technical qualities of a photograph are not enough to call it a work of art. A work of art, regardless of the medium used or mastery of technique has to have a respectable composition - one that can stand up to close analysis.
For example, even though Ansel Adams could produce a photographic print that was technically superior to a Henri Cartier-Bresson image, Adams couldn't compete with Bresson's ability to create a visual masterpiece. Bresson was a highly trained draftsman as well as a brilliant designer and understood how to use and apply Dynamic Symmetry to all of his photos. As a result of his knowledge and training in classical art techniques, Bresson produced a massive and consistent body of photographs in his lifetime - all of which were considered "works of art."