Beauty and the Sublime – Work in progress

This assignment requires six to twelve photographs that illustrate my own interpretation of beauty and sublime within a landscape context. I don’t have particular direction in mind but I am interested in the work of Mitch Epstein, and in particular his project “American Power”. This is explicitly mentioned in J.A.P. Alexander’s book “Perspectives On Place” in the context of “Industrial Sublime”. The juxtaposition of domestic and recreational settings with huge industrial sites does fit in with the general sublime theme of ‘awe’. Two photographs from this set in particular explicitly show this dominance
Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia 2004 (
Poca High School and Amos Coal Power Plant, West Virginia 2004 (

I had no particular direction in mind other than I would like to explore something similar. A previous tutor had given me some good advice for situations like this, to just go out with my camera and see what happens. My first venture out was a particularly misty day
Subsequent trips coincided with bright sunshine. Through this time I took several photographs directly towards the sun; I though about trying to illustrate the relative impotence of our own power infrastructure compared with the natural environment

I also took this shot; not particularly in keeping with the previous few but really just as a direct borrowing from Mitch Epstein

I also looked at trying to relate the electrical infrastructure to a more general energy theme with photographs of a reservoir

I did think of the idea of trying to create a set to depict beauty and sublime at the same time. After all, both concepts are open to interpretation – both are in the eye of the beholder. So far though these are just scattered thoughts. I can’t yet find an overall theme behind these and am worrying that I am just going up a blind alley.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.