A Word on Aesthetics: Pure & Simple
AuthorTopic: A Word on Aesthetics: Pure & Simple Read 448 Times
ParticipantPosts: 41Styles & Lookson: August 17, 2019 at 8:18 am
A Word on Aesthetics:
So many powerful compositions on this website and across the web, in galleries and museums, but I rather see less “structure”.
Seems far too many photographic artist are straying from pure aesthetics and trying too hard to “add” to an already breathtaking landscape. Yes, I am aware as artists we strive to adjust and bring to the masses our vision, but wish we would keep things more simple and pure. It is widely known, and through his own words, Ansel Adams used a heavy hand when it came to post-production Dodge & Burning, (and I use this technique a lot myself) but the overall (or general) interpretation of the scene is authentic as it relates to how are eyes and brain function as a team to reveal the world to us.
The industry is becoming over saturated with heavily manipulated work and beginning to lean more toward digital art than photography. Perhaps we should slide the structure toggle more to the left and leave HDR like visuals to the side for a while. You know, lets cut down on the salt and see if the original recipe taste better.
And let me leave you with this thought: perhaps we are influenced by the recognized definition of “Fine Art Photography” posted in Wikipedia, which (in my opinion) was only written to satisfy these types of heavy manipulations. In fact, closer reading and digestion of the current definition is extremely misleading and does not conform to the original meaning (or origin) of the term Fine Art when applied to photography: ‘Simply capturing what one sees in an artistic way is the art of photography and not creating fine art‘. The goal of fine-art photography is to express an idea, a message, or an emotion‘. In fact, the the Art of Photography is the very essence of Fine Art Photography. Period.
Amusing to me, they use Alfred Stieglitz “The Steerage” as the first example of Fine Art Photography, as the 1907 photograph is a creation by the virtue of The Art of Photography through camera techniques and personal perspective of the photographer: From an article I am writing – In Stieglitz fine art photograph “Steerage”, nothing here is manipulated, but rather the image speaks for itself in its original form: revealing how the segregation between the poor and rich can be openly brutal. Here, Stieglitz is expressing a “message” that will inevitably create strong “emotions”, two key attributes in creating fine art photography, indeed.
Lance A. Lewin
KeymasterPosts: 724Re: A Word on Aesthetics: Pure & SimpleReply #1 on: August 17, 2019 at 10:02 am
Lance, interesting perspective. I could say a lot on this as many photographers are adding elements, doing a lot of tonality corrections and some as it seems to be a trend making the images look dark and dramatic. Oh, and let’s not throw a small person into the landscape. In the end, (short story) they are the artists and if that is the image they were to create and share then that is their call. The tools available today allow for a lot of heavy handing in the image. The question is it still a photograph or is it digital art. I don’t have the answer but I know a lot of organizations that run competitions and give awards are either setting new categories or specifying more clearly what is and isn’t a photograph. The debate goes on. Thanks for sharing as it is great foods for thought.
CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com
ParticipantPosts: 41Re: A Word on Aesthetics: Pure & SimpleReply #2 on: August 17, 2019 at 10:56 am
Hi Kevin – and thank you for your feedback.
Let me make myself clear – I do enjoy and regard both traditional and the heavily manipulated (digital art, if you will) for the creativity and incredible artistic representations both genres of art deliver, but as you eluded to, I am a strong advocate for more consistent categorization of the two.
Allow me to cite two examples: I recently curated the Gilmer Arts National Juried Photography Exhibition (in Ellijay, Ga) and I successfully included two distinct categories – then used two judges to review the works and present the winners. It all went very well and both the artist at the Opening and patrons alike said it was refreshing to see. Also, at the Booth Museum in Cartersville, Ga, another exhibition under guest curator John Mariana and Booth Museum curator Sam Gerace – Artistic Photography Today: Artists Re-Presenting Reality Mariana presented the work as Digital Art, before photography. The work is outstanding and the best I have seen anywhere. It was again refreshing to see the two genres presented on a separate pedestal.
Lance A. Lewin
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Lance Lewin.
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