Katie Hupp


Disturbing Sunset
In the dictionary, sublime is defined as impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power. In this class, sublime is portrayed as a dark and ominous message. According to Edmund Burke, whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling (Burke, 1747).
For my own manifesto, relating to the pictures I picked out to use for this essay is full of subliminal messages. The pictures are of the one and only famous Pullman sunsets. Pullman sunsets are beautiful and breath taking, but I felt like this sunset was different than the others. It reminded me of the ruined theme that this class is surrounded by. This sunset makes it look like the hillside is blazing. Blazing of bright colors, such as orange and purple and pink and gray; as if there is a fire way above in the sky. That all hope is fading away into the sky and there is nothing that we can do about it.
I looked through Kodak’s nature photography top ten tips and tried to take my pictures according to that, physically and subliminally. I stepped into the light as Kodak suggested and got different pictures then I thought I would. I was looking for interesting combinations of color, light, shadow, and texture. I think I did a pretty good job of picking out pictures that glorified this tip. The next tip I engaged in was called a new angle in life. I took a picture of the whole sky and sunset and then saw a cloud that looked out of place and dark, so I took a picture of that to show that something so beautiful can have something ruined in it. It does not necessarily mean that the picture is totally ruined, it means that there is a small object in a bigger object that is pieced together by the ruined theme. It makes the picture unique and makes people think deeper about the sunset and that it is more than just a sunset.
I then cut the clutter like Kodak suggests and took the pictures from a high angle so I could grasp the concept that the sky was above us and coming down towards us. I wanted the elements of the picture to stand out and prove the ruined theme. In one of the pictures, it appears to have a face in the clouds. Like a face of doom, mocking us with messages of hope fading away. I captured the whole view of the sunset and then broke it up into pieces and separated them into ruined and beautiful themes.
This is my aesthetic showing up. Aesthetic is pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectually. Many emotions show up in these pictures because it makes me think of many different things. Is time running out, or is a fresh start beginning? Does the fire in the sky burning down the beautiful things and turning them into ruined things?
I could have done a few things differently to emphasize my points. Such as taking a closer shot of the sunset. I took the pictures with my iPhone and could have used a better camera. Beauty and ruined can be confusing, they can mean the same thing to some people and mean completely different things to other people. According to Gilpin, disputes about beauty might perhaps be involved in less confusion, if a distinction were established, which certainly exists, between such objects as are beautiful, and such as are picturesque—between those, which please the eye in their natural state; and those, which please from some quality, capable of being illustrated in painting (Gilpin, 1724). My own manifesto is to be hopeful in ruined times. Things might look despairing and that all hope is lost, but there is always something small in that terrible time that glitters of hope.
According to Kodak it is a good idea to change your perspective. Look at things differently then you usually would. You will see something that you did not see before. I also “worked it out”. I took a picture of the whole sunset and then found a smaller piece of it that moved my eye to its interest. I focused in on what is important. According to Eddie Soloway, one of your biggest tools is the ability to make an image completely sharp from front to back, partially in focus, or not at all. Kidding aside about all the unintentional soft photographs we have made, there can be very solid reasons for choosing different kinds of focus (Soloway, Kodak).
Gilpin says from rough objects also he seeks the effect of light and shade, which they are as well disposed to produced, as they are the beauty of composition. My picturesque brings together beauty and doom. Sometimes beauty is doom and doom is beauty. It depends on someone’s own manifesto and their emotions towards the world. My rough object is the dark gloomy cloud with the light striking it. There is the glitter of hope in the middle of the small piece of the bigger picture.
-Kathleen Hupp


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