It is not so easy to define because the definition, or idea of fine art is always changing, just as cultures and societies and humans are always changing. On the one hand, one's idea of good art is very subjective. An artist can be a financial and popular success, but panned by the critics. and vice-versa, and both.I think Wikipedia gives a pretty good definition of what constitutes fine art, and fine art photography (at least in this period of time). Some countries give fine art a higher status than crafts, and some dont. Also, see wikipedia's opinion of avante-garde, keeping in mind that Wikipedia's definitions and ideas are those of various people, most(or all?) of whom are in the academic community. One idea i like is what is the photographer's intent for the images: marketing, recording of an event for historical records, purely for aesthetical reasons, to be used as an aid in creating canvas paintings, scientific study or records,etc., and sometimes those reasons cross over to produce a combination of results. The Hubble telescope was intended for scientific research, but i personally find the images of galaxies, nebulae,etc very pleasing to look at, and at the same time stimulate my curiosity about the mysteries of the universe and life. Would those images be considered fine visual art? I am tempted to say you know it when you see it, but that wont work as a definition either, since so many people have different ideas and reactions to art. In short, I believe there can be very generalized and constantly changing ideas of what fine art is, and the difinition cant be placed in a square box with exact dimensions. The Impressionist painters were slow to be accepted in the academic world, but see how popular their art is now, and how much it sells for. When i was a young child and first saw images of Van Gogh's paintings in a magazine, my immediate reaction was WOW! I could not stop looking at them. What was the purpose of those photographic images of Van Gogh's art? I still sometimes get the same reaction today. At the same time, i like the phrase "variety is the spice of life". I would get bored with seeing the same old images or same old style of creativity all the time. Originality sometimes can be good.