Aesthetics Of Photography Essay Research Paper Status — страница 3

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it is an education in facing facts; it is designed to lead us away from the world of imagination in which the child lives. In his view, imagining is sharply opposed to thinking. To imagine is to isolate the object; to think is to place it in a world of objects with which it is continuous. He concluded that each work of art is an object of imagination. The point he made about imagination can be applied to both artists and viewers, but he emphasizes the audience. He says that an object is only beautiful to a person who looks at it imaginatively, and that the kind of beauty which he finds there depends on the intensity and character of his own imaginative activity. I agree that art is an activity of imagination. A perceiver needs to imagine the implication beyond the words, the

sound, or the scene bound by the frame. However, it is questionable to regard thinking as the opposite of imagination. This theory can hardly be applied to journalistic and high tech photography. Actually his assertion is inevitably contradictory. What is his purpose of writing books on aesthetics? He probably wants to discover proper ways for the reader to appreciate art. No doubt his writing is philosophical and the result of thinking! Also, I don’t think that Western education reduces imagination. From my own standpoint as an artist, imagination and thinking are complementary rather than mutually exclusive. Imagination must be based on facts. No matter how “other worldly” artistic creation is, it must rely on the facts of our real world order. As I mentioned, the

viewer’s standpoint is one-sided. I suggest that combining the audience’s and the artist’s standpoints will contribute to the study of the nature of photography. Expression of Idea of Emotion Langer (1957) tends to view art from the artist’s standpoint. She declares that art is an expression of the idea or the knowledge of emotion through symbols. However, my experience as a photographer leads me to believe that expression through the camera is based on the knowledge of both my emotion and the emotion of others. For instance, in my photograph “Japanese girl” a girl was blowing bubbles while I was taking her picture. The image of the girl and the bubbles conveys both emotion and meaning. Although her emotion dominates, my perception of her emotion drove me to add a

Hoya Fog B filter on the lenses to amplify her emotion, and thus, the photo is an expression of the idea of both her and my emotions. Langer (1957) holds that neither the external world nor the inner life of human is itself intelligible and therefore comfortable: Human comes to terms with the world and oneself by imposing symbolic forms, or patterns, which are themselves orderly and therefore intelligible. She asserts that every work of art, in whatever medium, is a “semblance” or an “appearance” through symbols. Sparspott (1965) criticizes that Langer’s theory “just leaves us right where we started in our quest for the proper way of describing a work of art” (p.425). Although the concept of “symbol” seems to be a tautology, it is still a usable term for

understanding aesthetics of photography. Because the photographic image looks real, many viewers tend to forget that it is a semblance and overlook the symbolic nature of photography. Many times I have heard tourists complain, “The pictures of the place are very beautiful, but when I went there, I was very disappointed.” Sontag (1977) points out that photography is a “semblance of knowledge” or a “semblance of wisdom.” The camera’s rendering of reality must always hide more than it discloses. Thus, photography is “knowledge at bargain price” (pp. 23-24). In regarding photography as art, we must not engage the “tourist attitude” of viewing photos; rather, we must regard photos as a semblance or a symbol. To be specific, a photographer cannot take the subject

as it is, and the viewer should not assume what s/he sees is what it seems. In art there is something more than the appearance–the power of symbol. As Turner (1977) said, “Photography can use fact as a metaphor to create new fact” (Photographer’s Gallery, p.77). Another well-known photographer, Jonathan Bayer (1977), also said, “Good photographic images intrigue, present a mystery, or demand to be read. They are constructs of frustrations and ambiguities which force the viewer to actively interact with the photograph” (Photograher’s Gallery, p.9). Prominent art critic Berger holds a similar view that photography is a “quotation from appearance rather than a translation,” because the extraction from context produces a discontinuity, which is reflected in the