Robert Adams. Beauty in photography.

Some quotes from the book of essays that I like.  They went some way to helping me answer the question of why bother taking/making photographs.

“if the goal of art is beauty and if we assume that the goal is sometimes reached, even if always imperfectly, how do we judge art?  Basically, I think, by whether it reveals to us important Form that we ourselves have experienced but to which we have not paid adequate attention.  Successful art rediscovers beauty for us.  

“Are all important pictures beautiful?  For instance there is Robert Capa’s photograph of a Spanish loyalist, fatally wounded a moment earlier ], falling to the side of the       35-mm frame.  It is as vivid a synopsis of violent death as has been produced in our century.  But is it beautiful?

Adams goes on to say that trying to defend this photograph by saying it is beautiful would a mistake but then he points out:

“What Capa’s photograph shows is a truth – a common, terrible and therefore important truth.  But again, does this mean the picture is beautiful?  Is truth beauty beauty and vice versa? The answers, as Keats knew,  depends on the truth about which we are talking.  For a truth to be beautifulit must be complete, the full and final truth.  And that in turnleads me to a definition of beauty linked unavoidably to belief.  For me, the truth of Capa’s picture is limited; it deserves, therefore, some lesser adjective than “beautiful”.  

“Why is form beautiful?  Because, I think, it helps us meet our worst fear, the suspicion that life may be chaos and that therefore our suffering is without meaning.




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About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
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