Tag Archives: Aesthetics

Medium Festival: Amanda Dahlgren

Featuring photographers seen at the Medium Photography Festival in San Diego….

It was a pleasure to meet Amanda Dahlgren at the Medium Festival and discover that she is a photographic educator, designer, technician, and craftsman, but above all, she is a photographic artist who has always been fascinated with aesthetics and artistic expression. She brought two projects to the Medium Festival, both looking at how the the housing boom and recent recession have affected areas in Southern California .  I was struck by her series, Pre-Abandonded,  exploring the idea of aesthetics and almost-built homes that will never see completion.

In addition to teaching and creating her fine art projects, Amanda consults for the VASA Project, an online media center focused on photography, digital video, criticism, visual studies, and new media.  She received an MFA in fine art photography from the Academy of Art University in 2011.

Photography has a rich tradition of capturing the abandoned home, often showing the physical marks of the deterioration of the inhabitants’ lives. In this series I am exploring the beginning of this lifecycle by capturing new residential construction in master-planned communities. Where others see the hope and possibilities of a new home, I see “pre-abandoned spaces:” the American dream promised by the model homes unfulfilled by financial missteps, broken relationships, or simply the realities of the hardships of life. 

The Ultra-Holy City: Photographs by Oded Balilty

The Kiryat Yovel section of Jerusalem is a seemingly serene urban glade, but in recent years, tension has grown in the area as more and more ultra-Orthodox families have bought up homes and apartments in what has historically been a majority secular neighborhood.

This shift in Kiryat Yovel is indicative of a greater trend in Jerusalem. As Oded Balilty’s photographs depict—here, and in the new issue of TIME—a more and more common visual element in Jerusalem is jet black fabric.

Jerusalem is rapidly becoming a city of ultra-Orthodox, the intensely observant Jews whose entire lives are devoted to studying Torah, and living by the rules it dictates, as interpreted by the rabbi who leads their specific sect, and issues the dress code. They are the fastest growing population in Israel today and in 20 years, demographers say, the ultra-Orthodox will account for 1 in 5 Israelis.

Oded Balilty—AP for TIME

The international cover of the August 13, 2012 issue of TIME.

Historically, the movement known in Hebrew as haredi—or trembling, as in God-fearing—flowed from the summary rejection of the Enlightenment by charismatic clerics in Eastern Europe. Their edicts on attire, hair style and separation of the sexes lend a preserved-in-amber quality to ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, which in broad terms simply reject modernity—the movement so many prominent Jews (think: Spinoza) did so much to usher in. Housing shortages have pushed the ultra-Orthodox into neighborhoods across the city, but the places they have lived longest, near Jerusalem’s downtown core, tend to be run down. In large part, that’s because ultra-Orthodox tend to be poor, with an average of seven children and a father who studies at a yeshiva all day, rather than working for wages. But it’s not only a matter of money.

Pre-occupied with the Next World, “they practice anti-aestheticism; they don’t consider aesthetics important,” says Menachem Friedman, a Bar Ilan University professor who devoted his career to studying ultra-Orthodox and marvels at their growing power.

“I remember in my childhood, symbols of religion, like sidelocks, was something you had to be ashamed of,” says Friedman, 76 this year. “Most of the rabbis shaved. You had to be modern. You had to adjust yourself to the world. Not any more.”

Karl Vick is TIME’s Jerusalem bureau chief.

Oded Balilty is a Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer for the Associated Press based in Tel Aviv. LightBox featured his work earlier this year in The Art of StorytellingThe Stone Throwers of Palestine and The Ultimate Prize Fighters: Practicing Peace through Boxing in Israel.

Dr. Eran Gilat

Israeli photographer and Doctor, Eran Gilat, has combined his work as a scientist (Neurobiology and Imaging) with his love of photography in his series of still lifes, Life Science.

Eran has exhibited in Israel and the US, garnering a solo exhibition last year in the New York Photography Festival. Eran brings the study of life sciences into a aesthetic world, creating environments and scenarios that make the viewer re-examine the unfamiliar and sometimes, the unappealing. But there is also beauty in reality of life, and these still lifes capture the quiet essence of existence. As a side note, the source of all specimens are meat markets or natural history facilities.

This is an attempt of mine to present a personal document of my individual experience in Medical Science research.  The project is inspired by long lasting scientific confrontation with various biological specimens, while engage in Physiological and Medical studies and my devotion to imaging.  It is my personal expression and thoughts on the incredible complexity of the organism and its highly accomplished organs and aesthetics in general.

In Life Science, I wish to offer an artistic expression that brings together observation on scientific research with an emphasis on preparation hierarchy and aesthetics. Many life scientists experience during their career a hierarchical preparatory process, confronting simple systems as well as more complicated ones  to simplify extrapolation to human being applications.

“Aesthetics have no place in photographing famine” – A David Campbell and Jon Levy Webinar

From David Campbell and Jon Levy

“Aesthetics have no place in photographing famine” webinar with David Campbell and Jon Levy from OPEN-i (Open Photojournalism Edu.


Photographer #308: Jake Verzosa

Jake Verzosa, 1979, Republic of the Philippines, is a succesful commercial and editorial photographer based in Manila. Amongst his clients are McDonalds and Nike. Due to these commisions he has been able to travel around Southeast Asia and work on his personal, documentary photography. Recently he has photographed elderly women in the Cordillera mountain range of the Philippines. They are the last women that have the traditional tattoos that hold values of women’s strength and fortitude. Due to the influence of western interpretations of aesthetics the perception of beauty has changed amongst the younger generation. Earlier, during his travels, he was already photographing various indigenous peoples throughout Southeast Asia, resulting in the project Communal Identity. The following images come from the series The Last Tattooed Women of Kalinga, Manila’s Railside and Communal Identity.

Website: www.matanglawin.ph

Sherif Elhage

Sherif Elhage was born in St Petersbourg, raised in Beirut by his Russian-Estonian mother and Lebanese father, he now lives in Paris. He was formally trained in communications, but has explored photography from fine art to fashion and advertising.

Sherif prides himself by creating work that is captured in camera. Many of his images are graphically based, with the composition of the color and original framing as integral elements to his vision. “The photographs exposed on his site expound no literary or transcendental significance, the aesthetics of the photography limits itself to what you see.” I am featuring work from three series, Black, White, and From the Ground Up. Each address color and shape as subject matter.

The process is not difficult but it took me years to build this body of work, sometimes it does not work correctly, you need to have a loot of light and overexpose the photos with the camera settings, sometimes it’s with the aperture process and sometimes it’s about time so it happened to me to use a tripod during the daytime, it’s the same with black photos but in an inverse way, I never use the normal settings of the camera. White surfaces naturally are always more exposed than the other colours.

Images from Black

I use a digital camera so it’s faster to see immediately the result, but it’s not always good…what you see on the small lcd screen is very different from what you get on your computer screen or on a print, so sometimes i have to go back to do the same photo with better settings and conditions.

Images from The Ground Up

Images from White

The sublime – the agreeable horror in visual arts

The sublime an old aesthetic concept that has survived

The sublime is a term used an aesthetic category with a long history since ancient Greek times.

The sublime is a term used in the theory of aesthetics. The concept of the sublime is strongly related to visual impressions and later to visual arts with a long history since ancient Greek times.

Many of us, if not everybody, has experiences with the sublime either by seeing real landscapes or viewing sublime vistas in the media especially in film.

The fantasy and science fiction film genre has created impressive examples in films like "The Lord of the Rings" or in "Space Odyssey 2001". Endless, infinite space or landscapes in these films intimidate the human, but at the same time evoke curiosity and fascination. These are the typical qualities of the sublime.

At the end of the 17th century when the Grand Tour became popular travelers experienced the sublime when crossing the mountains of the Alps on their Grand Tour to Italy. Ductless Air Conditioning . At that time crossing the Alps was an adventure. The raw powers of nature displayed by the steep rock landscape of the Alps left a deep impression on early travelers.
Among others it was Joseph Addison, who defined the impression the landscape of the alp evoked on him as a "kind of agreeable horror" to the mind. His ideas about greatness, uncommonness and beauty as the three major qualities in imagination were the starting point for later philosophical examinations of the sublime.

In the mid of the 18th century Edmund Burke published his famous essay on the subject, which became a central theoretic document on the sublime as aesthetic category. Burke’s merit was to separate the sublime from the beautiful with clear arguments.
"In short, the Beautiful, according to Burke, is what is well-formed and aesthetically pleasing, whereas the Sublime is what has the power to compel and destroy us. The preference for the Sublime over the Beautiful was to mark the transition from the Neoclassical to the Romantic era." (Quoted from WIKIPEDIA on the sublime.)

Contents at a Glance

The sublime – important resources on the…

The sublime – books on amazon

The sublime in contemporary landscape ph…

Landscapes by Ed Burtynsky

Thank you for your visit……


Contents at a Glance

The sublime – important resources on the…
The sublime – books on amazon
The sublime in contemporary landscape ph…
Landscapes by Ed Burtynsky
Thank you for your visit……
Piranesi Paraphrases by Edition Handdruc…


The sublime – important resources on the net 

A Philosophical inquiry into the origin of our ideas of the sublime… Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke`s essay first published in 1756 is the central text that has established the theory of the sublime as aesthetic category separated from the beautiful.
Longinus (literature) – On the sublime Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia article on an ancient Greek essay on the sublime in literature
Sublime (philosophy) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia article on the sublime


The sublime – books on amazon 

A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of the Sublime and Beauitful: And Other Pre-Revolutionary Writings (Penguin Classics)

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The Sublime: A Reader in British Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Theory

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Solitude and the Sublime: The Romantic Aesthetics of Individuation

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The Future of Art: An Aesthetic of the New and the Sublime (Suny Series in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art)

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The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference (English, English and English Edition)

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The sublime in contemporary landscape photography 
The concept of the sublime is very strong represented in contemporary landscape photography. In a way there has not much happened other than an exaggeration since those early photographs by Edward Steichen or the unmatched works of Ansel Adams. Photographers like Andreas Gursky or Edward Burtynsky had to adopt to the spoiled mind of the post modern audience. It takes more than the snow covered top of El Capitan to put the modern viewer in awe.

Andreas Gursky – Wikipedia

Introduction to Andreas Gursky and his works
Turkey cinemascopeThe official website of Nuri Bilge Ceylan photography

The works of Nuri Bilge Ceylan show sublime vistas of Turkish cities and landscapes. Interesting to see how he connects humans with the sublime surrounding
Edward Burtynsky [ Photographic Works ]

Edward Burtynsky represents the modern sublime par excellence…his work is very thought provoking as it deals with environmental affairs and the consequences for mankind

Landscapes by Ed Burtynsky  The sublime in contemporary art

Todd Hido. Andreas Gursky. Rap Songs . Atlanta ice maker repair . Jeff Wall.