The title of the post is a joke, of course, however I would like to try and write something a bit deeper about it, about ugliness.
I’ve been reading a book for the last 15 months, it is called “On Ugliness”. Being too simplistic it’s about The Ugly and The Ugliness in art. Of course the analysis go beyond the art world and into sociology and psychology. The perception of self and others.
According to the authors, coordinated by Umberto Eco, the Ugly or the perception of the Ugly is tied to the concept of “non conformity”.
We, as individuals and as society, look at non-conformity as Ugly.
We do that in order to protect our “group”, the ones that fit into “conformity” but in this case we are protecting a huge group, society itself.
The physical aspect of someone is the primary target of evaluation. Too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny… As society we tolerate some deviation from the conformity. We set the average point and go from there.
Being blind, missing an arm or a leg, being disabled, having scars, missing teeth, mental illness… Those are all severe deviations of the average, those are all ugly.
The homeless, the refugees… modern days ugliness.
Here’s an example. (Taken by Bruce Gilden)
Please keep in mind that there’s no judgement whatsoever about morals. Of course we all look at a fellow human and despite the fact he is different from us, we accept that difference. But that’s a process of reason, not a process of perception.
Perception rejects, reason makes it acceptable.
Some more “ugliness”. (Taken by Roger Ballen)
To accept the non-conformity we, as society, have to sit down and think about it. It’s all reason and, through the complexity of our societies, reason turn into laws and we all know the failure of imposing something that collides with our perception of the self and others.
Human rights issues.
Basically we can’t stand the person next to us on the bus.
We are narrowing down “non-conformity” to everything that it’s not “us” and the very few we find “beautiful”. The rest of the world is nothing but ugliness.
I went for the first photowalk of 2016 with some friends. It’s always a good excuse to go out and take pictures.
It was also an opportunity to take some portraits using a combination I like very much. The Hasselblad with the 120mm and the 21mm tube.
Really tight head shots with shallow depth of field. You can see some examples here.
I want to find out a formula or a way to do this right. I don’t like the distracting background and I don’t like using the lens at f8.
I’ve done this many time and I pretty much have an idea how to do it. Plain background, lens opened at f4.
Zeis 120mm Makro Planar
Hasselblad 21mm extension tube
Ilford HP5+ @ 1600
Kodak Tmax Dev
The bottom line is… well, there is no bottom line.
These are all friends, these are all beautiful, they are all so very unique and it showed in that 1/500 of a second.
Unique is a good word.
As usual I apologize for my writing.