Tag Archive: aesthetics

Alterations

Most of the time I want to say to you: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! (Except, okay, WOMAN behind the curtain. And it’s not a curtain, it’s a computer screen. Whatever.) But sometimes I feel like pulling aside the veil and showing you how the sausage gets made (ooo, block that…

Wish I Had Met Him

Novelty was not Steve’s highest value. Beauty was. … His philosophy of aesthetics reminds me of a quote that went something like this: “Fashion is what seems beautiful now but looks ugly later; art can be ugly at first but it becomes beautiful later.” Steve always aspired to make beautiful later. He was willing to…

Finding Perspective

It’s not unusual for people to ask me about my aesthetic choices. It’s often in the form of a question like: “How did you know that would make a good picture? Why did you photograph it that way?” Sometimes they’ll say something like “I wish I had your eye” or “My point-and-shoot can’t take that…

See-Through

Digital makes it easy to have it both ways. Which do you prefer? A Year Ago: Care for a Pear? Pears are coming into season again, in time for the holidays… [read more]

Old-Fashioned Landscape

I wonder what the aesthetic status of an image like this would be if the first photographs had been in color. Or if somehow—like rural portions of the world that have skipped directly from drums to cellphones—the development of photography had been direct-to-digital. No patina of nostalgia would cling to this form of presentation. It…

In Flight

This photograph was made from an airplane window five years ago, with my at-the-time brand new first-gen iPhone. The original filesize is a measly 1.9MB, and this is a crop. The image has noise artifacts galore. In short, from a technical point of view it is wholly inadequate. And yet I find it lovely: serene,…

On the Edge

Usually, when I crop a photograph, it’s strictly for compositional reasons: the camera’s frame has included something I wish to exclude. But sometimes I feel that a particular format carries an emotional value with it as well. I think, for example, that the square format carries with it both a sense of stability and nostalgia…

The Fallow Field

These days, more so than ever, you have to choose to go monochrome with an image. It’s not—as it once was, of course—the default. I kept returning to this image of the vineyard and garden at Monticello, and for some time I wasn’t clear why. As you can see here, the original version faithfully shows…

Goldenleaf

I generally get two kinds of reactions when I tell people that I post a picture just about every day. One can be summed up as: “You must have streamlined that pretty well to keep it up like that. I can’t imagine it takes a lot of time now that you’ve had so much practice.”…

Subtle

I’ve opined before that photography is principally an editorial art: one selects from the wide world just this to frame and show. It’s all about making good decisions (hence the title of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s masterwork The Decisive Moment). There have always been multiple stages of decision-making in photography: spotting the image framing the picture (lens…