Seeing Beauty. Are you missing it with your photog...

Seeing Beauty. Are you missing it with your photographs?

Beauty noun The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest). (

What jumps out at you when you read the above definition? For me, it is the inclusion of the word “or.” Many definitions of beauty focus on pleasure only, but this definition says that beauty can either result in pleasure -or- satisfaction. Satisfaction speaks of a hunger fulfilled, of a need assuaged, of a yearning soothed. Therefore, beauty does not always have to equal ‘pretty.’ Beautiful things can fulfill a need in someone that is less than pretty. A need to identify with a similar hurt in someone else, a need to see a compatriot in their struggle with loneliness, a need to experience the anger of someone else in order to know that there is a path forward… Beauty is all around and is found in the what the world might think of as unlikely locations.

Exercises for seeing beauty:

1- Spend 2 minutes in a quiet room, noticing as many of the details around you as you can. As I sit here, alone, I see the repetitive square pattern of the objects on my desk, the reflection that my lamp casts onto the desk, the play between light and shadow on the curtain, the smudged fingerprints on the tv across the room that speak of my children’s inquisitive fingers. When you are still, seeing beauty in things that you overlook during your day to day will happen organically.

2- Choose an emotion that is normally considered to be negative. Think about how you might capture it photographically, in a way that others can relate to. What kind of light should you use? Should you photograph a person, an inanimate object, a landscape? How might processing play into communicating your message of beauty?

3- Purposefully see the world through a viewfinder. Frame your everyday within the four edges of a photograph. Notice the leading lines, framing, colors, repetition of elements, etc. Even without the camera to your eye, think about how you could move, change settings or adjust light in order to make the scene in front of you more impactful.

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  1. Laurie

    25 February

    Insightful as usual, Megan! :)

    • MeganCieloha

      27 February

      Thank you, Laurie :)

  2. […] I shared in this post, beauty is a vast topic. Working from home, with small children, gives me the chance to appreciate […]

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