Digital Sublime Photography: Lessons from Harri Kallio’s Dodo Project

By Yi-hui Huang.

Published by The International Journal of Visual Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online September 15, 2015 $US5.00

Digital sublime photography refers to digital composites that present “the existence of something unpresentable.” Dissatisfied with the representation of the outer world that can be easily accomplished by pressing a single shutter button, photographers who painstakingly synthesize images together to create the digital sublime seem to be compelled to create personal versions of the world, which may be closer to the beliefs through which they interpret and interact with the world. To gain a better understanding of these photographers’ digital sublime photographs, I propose that we investigate the artist’s views of reality by asking, “What is your definition of reality?” and “How do you visualize your reality in your digital composites?” This paper cites contemporary photographer Harri Kallio’s project The Dodo and Mauritius Island: Imaginary Encounters as an example. From the analysis of Kallio’s views of reality, the “unpresentable” substance that Kallio’s photographs try to present reflects his view on, and visualization of, the memory and mystery of dodos, and contributes to viewers’ cognitive contemplation on the issue of extinct species. This study has implications for how digital sublime photographs can be studied and taught.

Keywords: Photography, Reality, Knowledge

The International Journal of Visual Design, Volume 9, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.15-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online September 15, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 585.186KB)).

Dr. Yi-hui Huang

Associate Professor, Department of Digital Media Technologies, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA, USA