As Oscar Wilde said ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. And it is the absolute truth! Two people will capture an image of one and the same landscape in a totally different way because they have different levels of aesthetic feeling. And it isn’t a miracle at all. It is just a psychological mechanism.
Amplify your sense of beauty!
All people see differently! Someone will see a shameless model, another one will notice eccentricity of an outfit, another one will be captured by the play of red sunset and the ground, and the play of lavender with purple layers in the sky. And someone will just walk by!
How does this mechanism work?
We often assess the combination of colors and composition intuitively and ‘by eye’. And it’s not thewonderful gift we’ve possessed since we were born that leads to successful assessment, but thecomparison with ‘memorable colors and proportions’, namely with those colors and proportions we have been familiar with for so long that we know exactly what they have to look like.
The samples which are reliably stored in our visual memory become certain benchmarks to us, because they are identified by our brain much more frequently than any other stimuli. Thus, we feel them better, and as a result, recognize them better. The more often we encounter these colors and proportions in our everyday life, the more chance we have to notice any deviations from them! WE SEE AND FEEL BETTER ONLY THE THINGS WHICH WE COME ACROSS EVERY DAY.
Did you know that Michelangelo Buonarroti had not communicated with women until he was 60 years old? This is why his sculptures of women bear some resemblance to men’s bodies, which has become a distinctive feature of his artworks. It was only at the age of 70 when he met his first love and muse. Thus, he just hadn’t had the time to accumulate the right ‘memorable proportions’ of the female body in his head!
Where does sense of beauty come from?
Such a personal quality as sense of beauty is not given to us naturally. The aesthetic feeling is cultivated and cherished since childhood. A five-year-old kid will not understand anything about Van Gogh’spaintings, but he will be able to distinguish between simple colors and will admire the beauty of a rainbow or bright coloring of butterfly’s wings. Children’s drawings are simple and unpretentious, but we feast our eyes on them because they do not contain any evil or ugliness, as we, the parents, try to PROTECTour children from any evil and horrors. Due to this isolation, children’s drawings are filled with kindness and simple beauty for children’s world is just always so wonderful!
It is really important as we get older to be able to defend ourselves from any negative effects and only be surrounded by the beauty! It is critical to intentionally look at only right, exemplary pictures. Due to aesthetic feeling we can notice a stunning emotion and a unique moment and manage to capture it while someone else just walks by without even noticing this beauty!
Psychologists call the sense of beauty AESTHETIC EDUCATION and it is not a luxury but an essential condition for the formation of the personality and his or her further development.
The sense of beauty can be really helpful in life! That’s because it keeps us from being depressed in times of trouble, it gives us hope and ability to see only good things. Also, creative people have goodimagination and in difficult times they will find not 3, but 103 solutions to their problems.
This is one of the abilities that, as psychologists claim, Leonardo da Vinci possessed. Painting and engineering (inventiveness), which the artist was fond of have the same roots, namely IMAGINATION and FAITH IN GOOD OUTCOME. Creative people will always get out from under whatever troubles are hanging over them! There is an absolutely unique Oscar-winning movie named ‘Finding Neverland’ concerning this subject. I strongly recommend you to watch in with the WHOLE FAMILY!
How to amplify sense of beauty?
Sense of beauty (aesthetic education) can and must be trained, worked on, cherished and cultivated during the whole life. The following tips can help you with that:
1. Start with yourself!
Create yourself a favorable and beautiful work environment. Get rid of all the trash on your table, put a vase of flowers, buy a nice pen, a notebook and even a mouse pad. Each and every detail must be beautiful. And you’d better replace a horrible camera backpack with an elegant camera bag. You yourself must be a good example and incarnation of beauty! Your clothes during photo shoots must be although simple but decent and nice. There must be every indication of you being an artist. Art is not a job! Art is lifestyle!
Studies have shown that rich people have a heightened sense of beauty because every day they are surrounded by beauty and luxury items created by the greatest artists. And the more valuable these items are, the more talented the hands of their creators turn out to be! This beauty surrounds them every day and is instantly registered by subcortical area of the brain. This process often occurs unconsciously, but in the future they ‘see’ and can sort out the gold from the garbage by only catching a glimpse of it.
2. Travel more!
It has been proved that the Italians have a heightened aesthetic feeling because they live in the epicenter of architectural and natural beauty! And it’s true that a lot of great artists come from Italy, evenMichelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci mentioned above are Italians, too. Unfortunately, the people living in Khrushchev buildings of Penza (Khrushchyovka is an unofficial name of type of low-cost, concrete-paneled or brick three- to five-storied apartment building which was developed in the Soviet Union during the early 1960s) and those who come from historical buildings of St Petersburg have totally different sense of beauty. And running to work past Colosseum in Rome or over the Charles Bridge in Prague is not the same as running along sad looking worn down roads of Russian cities like Izhevsk or Cheboksary. (May the inhabitants of those cities forgive me, but I hope you understand that beauty spots of ancient Rome and Prague have a clear advantage). Thus, sometimes it’s just necessary to travel and absorb the beauty of perfect proportions of historical architecture. Generally, those magnificent buildings were created by great engineers who were absolutely aware of proportions and beauty. And we can retain their vast experience in our visual memory. The world is evolving faster than ever, and now we can find plane tickets and hotels to suit every income bracket!
3. Love nature!
Nothing compares to nature’s perfection! As Leonardo da Vinci said: ‘I observed nature, and she just revealed her secrets to me!’ That’s an ABSOLUTE and UNDENIABLE FACT that harmony and all those golden proportions originate from natural phenomena. We have to be more attentive to nature, for she is the main encyclopedia of beauty. If you don’t know what to do, just remember how it really was and nature will give you a hint on what color and proportion you have to choose!
There was no Google in the past and a number of artists couldn’t just use the search engine and learn some tips on how to work with greenery to get a ‘WOW’ result. They spent hours en plain air (French, ‘in the open air’) instead and just tried to retain the images of nature in their visual memory or in sketches, like we save some articles in Bookmarks or nice pictures in a special folder. By the way, there were quite a lot of illiterate geniuses, since it was a sign of luxury and privilege of a handful to have access to books in those days! Try to replenish the stockpile of your visual experiences as often as possible! Of course, if you happen to see the famous Norwegian fjords, the lakes of Munich or the Swiss Alps, that will be the acme of visual pleasure for you! But believe me, Karelian forests and the great Baikal will not leave you indifferent either! All it takes is your desire rather than money!
4. Read good books!
Just for the fun of it, type ‘Giaconda’ into the Google search engine and see what you get. There will be a number of different versions of it! How can you appreciate the artwork to the full if neither the color not the proportions correspond to the original? In contrast, encyclopedias have to meet the requirements of both the facts and proper print. Not every book deserves to be called an ENCYCLOPEDIA! That’s the main reason why all books on art and painting are so expensive, as they require high standards of quality print. And it needs special approach to capture the image of a piece of art. You can’t just take a photo of Van Gogh’s painting somehow, and then correct it in Photoshop in your own way, because it will be just a remake of the famous ‘Starry Night’. There is even a special bank of photos for art catalogues, and that’s what they use for professional publications and encyclopedias. It will be easier and more interesting for you to read CHILDREN’S rather than ADULT’S encyclopedias, for example, the collection of children’s encyclopedias issued by the Russian publisher Avanta+ ( собрание энциклопедийиздательства АВАНТА+.)The advantage of using this series is that you get used to the consistent and systematic presentation of the material, thus you learn better (and the principle of ‘accumulated proportions’ works).
5. Visit museums!
The Hermitage, the Louvre and the Uffizi Gallery will certainly help enrich your arts experiences. To make it more interesting and easier, you’d better not visit all the exhibitions at once, but choose a few ones with an audio guide or better an experienced museum guide. Read about the preferred artists before your visit. It’s really hard to go through and understand all the artworks of the Louvre. It implies a step-by-step progress. For example, you can make a list of 12 names and dedicate each one of them a month to learn. And if you happen to visit a museum where you can find the works of a familiar artist, you will enjoy those paintings to the full. I’m sure you will recognize some of Michelangelo’s works from the previous article when you see them in the museum, and it will make you smile to realize being already familiar withthem!
6. Try to be surrounded by only positive things!
Cherish your ability to perceive beauty and do not clutter it with social media or your colleagues’ works. Although it is necessary to look through your competitors’ products at least once in a while in order to assess and analyze the photography market, but you should save your visual memory for more remarkable and significant things. Your colleagues’ works are no match for the experience of Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, Richard Avedon and other modern-day geniuses whose aesthetic feeling is not in dispute. True art doesn’t need proof. Maybe your colleagues will be highly appreciated in the future, but that’s unlikely to happen only five years after they started their career. So, it’s not about underestimating their potential, it’s about having expectation for their experience and skill to become ABSOLUTE and UNDENIABLE. Anyway, flipping through a book will do you more good than looking through Instagram!
‘I’ve always cared more about taking pictures than about the art market.’
The cover of Vanity Fair in 1991 with Demi Moore was a SENSATION! Before that NOBODY had ever taken photos of completely naked pregnant celebrities, especially for famous magazine covers! At that time is was treated as boldness, but for the past 16 years the postures from this series have been the standard for pregnancy photo shoots. This has become the new trend. Making history is the main sign of true excellence!
7. Visual comparison.
That would be really great to have a compilation of such useful images for quick reference when you need help. They can be the photos from your trips, movie stills, images taken by great photographers, paintings of artists. All those images should be carefully stockpiled, so that you can find them and look at them whenever you need it. The colors you receive by comparing with the model will be more precise and active. For example, you can just open the image which you consider right and beautiful next to the one you need to process in Photoshop, and correct your image making the colors equal the model. A lot of my sunsets, for example, I compared with the sunset from the cartoon ‘The Lion King’. Such models will save you from many other side effects like ‘excess Photoshop’ or ‘dirty’ colors, and inspire you to achieve the best results!
Copying is one of the most important stages of development. The major difference to plagiarism is that nobody will blame you for copying a cartoon, a movie or a piece of art!
8. Watch beautiful movies!
Especially beautiful are the historical ones, like ‘The Duchess’, ‘Anna Karenina’ or ‘The Merchant of Venice’. You can even watch them on mute, enjoying the picture. And all films by the Walt Disney Company deserve special attention due to the incredible work done on color and composition. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ alone leave us open-mouthed with astonishment! They are just second to none! Make a list of great artists, photographers and movies for a year. One month takes one line from this list. The way of gaining knowledge consists of small steps.
What was the last book you read or the movie you saw?
Share your experience with the others!
We consist of where we are, who we deal with and what we read! Only the one who is beautiful inside can create something great!
P.S. Dear friends, are you using the convenient live links in the text? Shall I keep on making them for you in the future?