Concealed Lake – Byron R.


The above photograph attempts to show a lake that was made by human beings, but, instead, we can only see what appears to be a field of snow. The man-made lake was clearly meant to be seen, but, as we can see (no pun intended), the snow thwarts this purpose. Also, the lake was most likely made to be beautiful, but, once again, the gray sky and leafless trees tend to rob it of this quality. Winter has, then, in some ways, temporarily ruined the beauty of this lake.

Now, a question arises of whether this photograph is a representation of sublimity, given the dark sky, jagged plant life, and condition of frozen ruin. I, personally, would be inclined to say that it is not sublime. After all, there is no real obscurity, or sense of awe and wonder. Either one knows that there is a lake under the snow and that it will eventually be restored to its summertime state of intended beauty, or one has no idea that there is any lake at all. The latter would seem more like a case of “total concealment” rather than obscurity; that is, there is nothing present which would provoke a feeling of curiosity or a fear of the unknown. Ironically, this scenario could actually prove to be more threatening to anyone eager to run across a field of fresh snow, but that is another matter entirely.


One response to “Concealed Lake – Byron R.

  1. This made me think about the idea that the sublime cannot be captured in an image. Burke talks about this a bit, saying that he doesn’t see how a painting could excite passion in the same way as poetry. I think that’s similar to what is happening in this case: the photo can’t convey the experience of the lake. We’re missing out on the sounds, the cold…and although the darkness obscures the photo for us, our own vision in general is not obscured, so there is no reason to be disturbed by the darkness.


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