Aesthetics Of Photography Essay Research Paper Status — страница 6

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me what brushes and paints I used. However, when people look at my photographs, they tend to ask, “What lenses did you use? What film is that?” Probably they think that the credit of a good painting should go to the painter, while the photographic equipment did the work in photography. Some of them even go further to think that if they have the same equipment, they can make the same pictorial effect. Actually, better equipment does not necessarily produce a better picture; although it increases the chances to create a good photograph. Prominent photographer Middleton (1997) made a valid point: “I’ll get better photos with a more expensive camera. Wouldn’t this be nice if it was true? Then all the best photographers would be the ones with the most money. Wouldn’t that

be simple? Alas, the world of photography doesn’t work this way. Give John Shaw a $200 camera outfit, and his photos would still be phenomenal. Remember, it’s not the equipment, it’s the operator. No one ever asked Van Gogh what kind of brush he was using and, if you’re always asking pros what kind of cameras they’re using, you’re missing the point.” (p.47) Because people credit the photographic equipment, they regard those who do their own processing and printing as “advanced photographers.” When I was a painter, no one asked me whether I framed my works. However, after people noticed that I am a photographer, almost every of them asked me whether I did my own processing and printing. Indeed, to my experience, the darkroom work could be as routine and

non-creative as using a one-touch camera. Nonetheless, when you assess the aesthetical value of a photo, is it wrong to ask such questions as “what lenses did you use?” “what film is that?” “do you do your own processing and printing?” You should ask those questions if you don’t give the credit to the equipment and the photo lab. Actually, the technical information can enrich our aesthetical experience. This suggestion is in contradiction to the aesthetic theory which insists on feeling the art instead of thinking about it. However, the mind of the audience has both functions of feeling and thinking. It is absurd to demand the viewer to shut off the intellectual faculty and just feel about the art. Even if it could be done, the viewer might re-organize the feeling

by thinking after he/she had felt the art,! If the viewer wants to share the feeling about the art with his/herr friends, he/she will present it in a systematic or at least comprehensible way. The process of conveying the feeling is no doubt an intellectual activity! You must comprehend technical information in a scientific mode of thinking. However, the thought may turn into a feeling, and eventually, an aesthetic experience. The technical information of photography is the process of production, which is qualified to be an art itself. The quotations, “love is an art” or “management is an art”, does not mean that love or management creates any physical appearance. Instead, these phrases suggest that the process creates the appearance. Consider cooking as a metaphor. In an

authentic Chinese restaurant, especially those that provide Beijing dishes, the chef cooks in front of customers. The ends (the food) and the means (the cooking techniques) are equally appreciable to the Chinese. Besides the effect on the picture, the skill of operating the equipment is also beautiful. Most people did not see how I made the picture. When I describe the process, you only can imagine it. The fascination of the skills could be viewed as an aesthetic experience. Previsualization The above observation is from the viewer’s standpoint. Now we switch to the artist’s viewpoint to see the role of technical knowledge in Photography. Edman defines art as “the realm of all controlled treatment of material, practical or other” (cited in Langer, 1957, p.110). Good art

reveals the full or high percent of the artist’s control. Compared with other media such as painting, writing and composing music, photography is the most difficult art to have control. If a painter works on a painting, he/she will postvisualize the image-he/she sees what he/she is doing immediately. If the color is not good, he/she can paint over it. A composer and a writer can also enjoy the same kind of advantage. For a photographer, the story is entirely different. Often someone asks me, “The image looks great on the viewfinder; why is the print so terrible?” I always answer, “Don’t trust the viewfinder. You must previsualize the image by technical-know-how.” For instance, a sunset or a sunrise scene carries high color contrast. The range of brightness will not