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The Photography Handbook, 3rd Edition by Terence Wright

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CHAPTER 2

Pre-production

THE AESTHETICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Every time we look at a photograph, we are aware, however slightly, of the photographer selecting that sight from an infinity of other sights.

(John Berger 1972: 10)

Despite its original derivation from the Greek verb ‘to perceive’, the primary aim of aesthetics from the eighteenth century onwards had evolved to include the study of ideas concerning beauty or taste. For example, Baumgarten, in 1735, began to apply Cartesian principles to the arts and, at the same time, coined the term aesthetics (Beardsley 1966: 156). More recently, since the beginning of the twentieth century, this field of study has been characterised by a concern for the principles (or rules) of art as well as the broader ...

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