Do you photograph the world better, the same, or worse than reality? #aesthetics

Towards a philosophy of aesthetics in photography: do you strive to capture the world as more beautiful, the same, or worse in your photos?

In other words:

  1. Do you strive to make your photos look MORE BEAUTIFUL than reality?
  2. Do you strive to make your photos as “photo realistic”to reality?
  3. Do you strive to make your photos as UGLIER than reality?

My personal ambition is to deify existence and life through my photos. That my photos show and signal and inspire the viewer to think and feel:

Wow, I’m so insanely grateful to be alive!

Now, how do we do this? Some thoughts:

1. Beauty in decay

I feel that my gritty photos show the beauty of grit and grain. I don’t believe in platonic beauty. Smooth, straight, and clear is ugly (plastic). Rugged, worn, and organic is far more beautiful (wood, wabi sabi, patina, wear and tear).

2. Gratitude of life!

As long as I’m alive, I only photograph people who are alive. And when I look at these photos of people who are still living (Cindy), I feel extreme joy she’s still alive! It’s kind of like when I watch John Wick, and am so grateful my soulmate isn’t dead!

3. Make the world more mysterious and interesting!

There’s ten trillion things and mysteries about the earth, humanity, art, and the universe which have yet been discovered. For me photography is great because it opens up my childlike sense of wonder to the world.

What new mysteries of the material world can I uncover via photography, art, and technology?

Conclusion: Extreme optimism for photography!


As Moore’s law advances, so will the great technological marvels in photography.

Perhaps a rational reason to live:

In the future there will be so many epic photographic innovations, which is insanely exciting to us as photographers and visual artists!

How great will the iPhone Pro of the future look like? How will monitors and digital displays of the future look?