Updated: Jan 5, 2021
According to TATE, aesthetic is the branch of philosophy of art that examines, interprets and evaluates the nature of beauty and taste associated with a specific object.
A sense of aesthetic is subjective and is often an area of discussion and debate. The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that beauty came from function and proportion. The Earl of Shaftesbury proclaimed in the 18th century that goodness and beauty were one and the same.
The modern concept of aesthetics has been evolving since 1735, when the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten asked the question what beauty really is, and when presenting his thought process, he used the word "aesthetic" to describe that something is beautiful or ugly, and how we make such judgments.
When writing his Critique of Judgment, Immanuel Kant, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment, attempted to explain what aesthetic is. Analysing beauty, taste and sublime he concluded that there is no scientific rule for what beauty is because it is subjective and depends on the beholder (TATE).
In photography, aesthetic influences the essence of an image and determines how viewers react to it by using formal elements of photography, including: composition (the rule of thirds ), line, tone, scale, perspective, light, pattern, form and shape.
Colours (different colours affect diversification feelings and emotions).
Subject (the chosen subject is usually the most powerful part of the photo and catches the viewer's attention).
Contrast (a high-contrast image tends to elicit a more intense emotional response than a low-contrast image and builds the drama of photography).
Lighting ( Front lighting minimizes form and create a flat-looking subject. Side lighting improves the depth in photography. Backlighting creates a silhouette).
Exposure (Skilful underexposure of an image can create an unearthly atmosphere. Darkness in the Rembrandt lighting pattern intentionally extinguishes unnecessary elements by directing the viewer's attention to a specific area, leaving a small amount of amazing light. Overexposure, on the other hand, can create a surreal image).
Depth of field (The character of the image is also created by the selection of the field of focus - sharp areas, richer in detail are the first to attract attention, while areas out of focus tend to move away and serve to hide unwanted elements. (Palad).
Palad, V (no date) What is Aesthetics in Photography and How to Use it? Available at: https://pixelsandwanderlust.com/aesthetics-in-photography/ (Accessed : 11 October 2020).
TATE (no date) Aesthetics . Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/aesthetics (Accessed: 11 October 2020).