The Power of the Sublime

It was the Romantic artists and poets of the late 18th century who were inspired by the forces of nature to create an art of the sublime. Michael Freeman recently described it as ‘how to enjoy a perfect storm’ and that was very apt stood on the beach at Elgol in November as the rain lashed down and the wind whipped with such fury that I genuinely feared that even someone of my size might just be blown away by the force.

© Dave Whenham

Backlighting is an oft-used device when photographing the Sublime

© Dave Whenham

The same scene in colour is slightly less threatening

I truly experienced the sense of fascinated delight he described and for the first time I think I truly understood what emotions are evoked by the power of the sublime. Freeman goes on to quote Joseph Addison who, in 1712 wrote about scenes that were “… at the same time, as Dreadful and Harmless; so that the more frightful Appearance they make, the greater is the Pleasure we receive from the Sense of our own Safety”.

So with these thoughts in mind here are a few from what was a truly Sublime experience at Elgol on the Isle of Skye in November 2015.

© Dave Whenham

On the beach

© Dave Whenham

The power of the wind

© Dave Whenham

Elgol

(Michael Freeman was writing in N-Photo magazine)