THE app li­ca­tion OF VIS­UAL AES­THET­ICS

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Vis­ual aes­thet­ics is the study of how com­po­si­tional el­e­ments (value, per­spec­tive, stag­ing and colour) in­ter­act and the au­di­ence’s re­ac­tions to them. It’s not enough to un­der­stand com­po­si­tion and ex­pect to be ef­fec­tive vis­ual sto­ry­tellers. Rather, it’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand per­cep­tion – how the au­di­ence reacts to com­po­si­tion.

Im­proper use of com­po­si­tion will re­sult in an au­di­ence’s se­lec­tive per­cep­tion. Se­lec­tive per­cep­tion re­sults in se­lec­tive con­text. And se­lec­tive con­text means the au­di­ence will have dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the story/idea. With the proper use of vis­ual aes­thet­ics, the com­po­si­tional choices be­come in­ten­tional and di­rec­tional to­wards in­tended per­cep­tion.

When the artist con­trols se­lec­tive see­ing, the vis­ual mes­sage be­comes sub­jec­tive. Sub­jec­tive means con­trolled per­cep­tion. Con­trolled per­cep­tion re­sults in con­trolled con­text, and this means the au­di­ence will have a sin­gu­lar in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the story idea.

My orig­i­nal idea for this image was to place the male sub­ject at the same dis­tance from the cam­era, but staged right below the lady on the bridge. Yet this gave the im­pres­sion he’d al­ready reached his des­ti­na­tion. So in­stead I moved him just a lit­tle bit to the left. It gave a hint that he’s not com­pleted his jour­ney, but he’s about to reach his des­ti­na­tion very soon. It also helped to cre­ate a per­cep­tion of move­ment in the paint­ing.

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