Monday, April 26, 2010


... or
"whatever you like yourself, Missus."

Objectivity shot out the window somewhere during my student years. I had been almost bound in a double Nelson of prescriptions in relation to the Arts in childhood, but with the halcyon days of the 'Sixties came aniline dyes, cheekiness and a delight in subjectivity. What is most heartening about my memories of those times is that the fine underpinning of centuries of design expertise had not been abandoned and people actually spent ages deciding on where exactly to make a hemline or how wide or narrow a belt should be in relation to the overall effect in a dress or suit. As a result, many photos from that time, especially street shots, are actually beautiful as they show a sense of proportion in the subjects captured.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it can be useful to think about why some photos are better than others, or why there can be a consensus on such matters. There is almost a cult of ugliness in the visual arts at the moment (I found the 1970's quite painful to look at)... though many will rush to point out that it is my perception that an image or object is "ugly" is the cause of such a statement.

I don't know if the philosophers can help out here...

City Mood


David T. Macknet said...

I do tend to ignore that whole branch of philosophy ... but there are a few things which make photographs generally appealing. They probably have to do with maths, the alignment of certain things within the frame, and so forth. It's been turned into a step-by-step process, I think.

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

The rule of thirds is much over-used, I think. Trillions of landscapes and seascapes have flooded the Internet, all perfectly composed.

This makes a nice change: