What beauty means to me.
By Stef LePape
11 Apr 2007
Beauty is what makes the world a better place. It is apparently a visual gift, as the essence of a thing of beauty is experience only with closer contact and understanding of it.
Beauty is relative to the subject. And all things living and still can at any moment shout of beauty. All things have a potential for beauty, it last only when there is a deeper force driving it to shine. A thing of beauty can also have lapses of the reverse.
It is often evanescent. Perceived in a fleeting moment. A hush.
So while its abundantly a visual experience, its also inwardly felt.
It is an active force that compels attention. Sometimes hosting all the right elements at one time. To me its when color, form, and lighting highlight a thing of beauty, affording my senses a deeper sigh of satisfication.
Photography offers the world eyes by which to capture these moments and further bask in them.
I can look at an animal that others would deem ugly and find its uniqueness to stand out and there by make it a thing of beauty.
The natural world is full of beauty, even in threatening conditions.
the one subject where we most gauge a thing of beauty; the human element, I have my own ideals as to perfect bone structure and grace and flawlessness in presentation, yet a thing of beauty can quickly turn when once the deeper self is revealed. Too, I never find 'ugly' in persons appearance...but I do often in their personalities. So therefore, I don't judge beauty until a subject is known or intuitively seen. True beauty shows itself.
I firmly believe in this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry;
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye"
As far as taking pictures of a person, the keenest eye can capture the personality of an individual and highlight their beauty. Alternatively, they can take a picture of a Vogue model and it looks good but it doesn't speak of beauty, nor does exploiting a woman's sexuality.
For art and vanity sake and not for a proclamation of beauty, I do appreciate certain portrayals of people manipulated to fit a theme or serve as a photographers muse.
I look at my flawed self and I'd be the first to say, too much is a lot less. I am not of the substance to reveal what my lenses perceive as unflattering. I am vain that way and hyper-critical of the scarred image
presented that no longer mask my journey.
I admire those who stand exposed and are not ashamed to reveal themselves. Their self acceptance a mentor to one not yet there.
Their confidence projects beauty that defers from any self perceived flaw.
Photography can say and accomplish so much and one aspect undeniably is to flatter all subjects of beauty.
So what does beauty mean to me?
Its an facet of living that makes it delectable/delightful and dimensional. It is the fields in which I prefer to dream and breathe within. It is a distraction to a higher place from the murky mire of our world and its destruction. Its a refuge from the urban stench. Its what all of us want and would choose...whether or not we own up to it.
Its the palette we'd paint the world with if we could.