Aesthetic Experience

One of the primary ways to feed the soul Philosophers since Plato have sought to define and describe the aesthetic experience. Among them there’s agreement that it’s a capacity unique to human beings, a contributor to well-being and different for each individual, but there’s no consensus on what it is in essence. This is understandable […]

Photographing To Feed The Soul

Beyond taking pictures, make photographs that express emotion Being house bound, this is an excellent time to develop or exercise your creative “eye.” Modern cameras and smartphones in all price ranges have tremendous technological capability. But when I look around and on the internet, they’re mostly being used to produce images that  capture or document what’s […]

The Aesthetic Of “Atmosphere”

It enhances the mood or feeling of a place Atmos is a Greek word meaning “vapor.” Sphaira in Greek means “sphere.” Combined, scientists use the word “atmosphere” to describe the layer of gases surrounding a planet, held in place by gravity. Artists refer to “atmosphere” in an image when atmospheric weather conditions, colors or textures […]

XIX. Symmetry

  This is the 19th posting in the series, “The Aesthetic Dimensions.” The first, posted January 6, 2019, explains the series and deals with “Abstraction.” To follow it (at no cost), go to davidlsmithcontemplativephotography.com and click “Follow” (bottom right corner of the Home page). The postings will show up in your mailbox on Sunday mornings. […]

XXII. Unity / Harmony

Aesthetically considered, unity is the arrangement or blending of visual elements in a way that’s pleasing. When it works, there’s a feeling of completeness, order, and wholeness. Not one element is out of place or distracting the eye from the central message, feeling or theme.  I’m reminded of Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini’s comment to an […]

XXI. Texture

Texture influences how we experience the world through the sense of touch—directly. The tactile sense is so acute and pervasive, images of texture are enough to elicit an experience vicariously. This makes it an important tool for communication and creative expression. When looked at up close or under a microscope, what makes an object textured […]

XVIII. Simplicity / Complexity

The nature of this aesthetic dimension is expressed as a continuum, determined by the number of visual elements within the frame. A photograph of the moon against a black sky with no stars counts as one element. If the light of an airplane is visible, or if there are stars, each is another element. Changes […]

XVI. Shadows

Shadows are a part of most images, yet they’re generally not given much attention. They do, however, contribute greatly to the illusion of three dimensions and “normal” everyday reality by providing evidence of depth and contrast. Used with awareness and purposefulness, they can be a valuable tool as an aesthetic dimension, even turn an ordinary […]

XIII. Pattern

Patterns are pervasive. Visually, through repetition, they set up a rhythm that suggests order. We see them in the most fundamental energy fields within the atom, in the immensity of the cosmos, and the way we function, behave and spend our time. Machines, computers, and time itself reveal patterns in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, […]

XVII. Shape / Geometry

  A shape is an enclosed space, a two-dimensional form that has length and width. In many instances in photographs, it’s the element that first catches the eye to reveal the subject’s identity. Students learning to draw begin with the fundamental shapes—circles, rectangles, triangles, and ovals. From these, all forms can be drawn by adding […]