Aesthetics, Not Image Quality

A realization:

What we are seeking as photographer-visual artists isn’t better “image quality”; it is to create images with beautiful aesthetics.

Therefore in our terminology about cameras and post processing, let us not mention “image quality” anymore (this term is ambiguous and doesn’t really mean anything; even worse when you use nerdy quantification numbers to determine “image quality”).

What makes for beautiful aesthetics?

Aesthetics are personal. What I consider beautiful in my eyes, you won’t necessarily consider beautiful. In fact, there still remains much work to be done in the field of the philosophy of aesthetics.

For myself, I consider something beautiful when it gives me energy, hope, joy, optimism, and bodily vigor.

Thus as a simple goal, strive to make photos that look beautiful in your eyes!

Post process according to your own vision of beautiful

When post processing your photos, process them in away which looks beautiful to you!

Generally speaking, I’ve really been loving high contrast and saturated photos with the “positive film” preset on RICOH GR II in JPEG, with contrast and saturation put to +9. Furthermore in Lightroom CC, I will play with the blacks, whites, contrast, and exposure until they look beautiful to my eyes.

Conclusion: Cultivate your own aesthetics

Experiment nonstop with your camera, film, processing, and technical settings until you can get an aesthetic you consider beautiful. And never stop making photos you consider beautiful in your eyes, and never stop sharing those photos and images!

Make on!