Aesthetics Of Photography Essay Research Paper Status — страница 5

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the lenses to shoot a sunset scene, the contrast is sharper and the red is more saturated. I love a sunset like that though this enhanced scene would never happen in the physical world. You may question, “Do you want the terror of war and the pain of death shown in Koen Wessing and Robert Capa to occur in this world again?” In photography showing tragic subjects, I don’t wish the incident to occur again, but the judgment should still refer to reality. Do we want to reduce war and death to “just happen,” or do we want to know why it happens and what we can do to prevent them from occurring? The order, composition, contrast, and color of the picture confers a meaning to the incident and invites us to think about our world deeply. Unlike mere imagination stated by

Collingwood, it is an imagination with philosophical contemplation. Photos by Non-Artists Besides the reality that can be perceived by our eyes, there are other levels of “reality,” which are revealed by high technology such as thermography and microscopic photography. However, can these photos which are made by non-artists for practical purposes be qualified as art? Besides the news photos taken by reporters, microscopic photos taken by doctors, thermography made by physicists, mapping satellite pictures for geographical study, and the computer enhanced pictures of planets taken by the probe “Voyager” and Hubble telescope also fall into this category. Although these pictures are extraordinarily beautiful, certainly they are made by scientists for non-artistic purposes.

First, we look for the answer from the artist’s standpoint. According to Langer (1957a), art is the creation of expressive forms to present ideas of feeling, or what is called inner life. A work of art will carry the “vital import,” which is the element of felt life objectified in the work (p.60). The high tech photographic methods such as thermography and micrography are applied by a few special effect photographers. Although they may do it for illustration, they still have a “vital import,” for their fabulous images demonstrate the confidence of human wisdom, as well as the courage of exploring and demystifying the deeper structure of reality. Every kind of art should have the “vital import”, but only high tech photography imports the felt life with solid facts,

the reference of reality that beyond our eyes. When we see those photos created by non-artists through the viewer’s perspective, the answer is still the same. Barthes (1981) discussed photography in his book Camera Lucida, whichoverwhelmingly centers on journalistic or realist photography. He says that the attraction certain photographs exerted upon him is advenience or even adventure. As a spectator he is interested in photography for sentimental reasons. He states that some journalistic pictures, such as the one by Koen Wessing showing soldiers and nuns marching in Nicaragua, urges his immediacy of thinking in an ethical and political view. Barthes quoted a Latin term “Studium” to describe this kind of enthusiastic commitment (p.26). As Collingwood says, art proper is a

magic that stimulates our morale to keep our lives going. Some journalistic photos can perform a function of provoking us to think about our existence and our world. Moreover, the scientific photos made with high technology, no doubt, bring us a tremendous morale. Mythology is an expression of our dream and desire, and science fiction is considered a modern mythology. If science fiction can inspire us to human wisdom and courage though we know that it is not real, then scientific photos, which bring us closer to reality and expand our imagination, should lead to a more positive psychological impact. With the high tech photographic equipment, we are able to see where no one has seen before in both micro and macro ways. We can magnify a cell 50,000 times, detect the variation of

heat of any surface, scan the inner structure of a human brain, see the earth in a high latitude, and even reach out to the galaxy. It is apparent that those are surrealist pictures because we cannot see them with our naked eyes only. They are actually realist pictures and they give us “emotional current” more than science fiction. Appreciation of Process By looking closely at the nature of photography, we might question whether art appreciation is only limited to what the work is, or extended to how it is made. The former concern is more at viewer’s side while the latter is more at the artist’s side. Interestingly enough, photography is more likely to stimulate the viewer to ask about the artist’s process than painting. When viewers look at my painting, they rarely ask