Laadun taika : valokuvan teknistaiteellisen laadun tekijälähtöinen tutkimus

Pekka Luukkola

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


    This doctoral thesis deals with technical and artistic quality in photographic art. The production chain from the scene to be recorded to the completed photograph consists of many stages, each of which has an impact on image quality. The aim has been to find out how these stages affect quality and how it is possible to improve the quality at various phases in the process. First, the background literature is examined to ascertain the factors affecting the quality of a photograph from a technical and artistic perspective, and to some extent the nature of the reception it elicits. The practical part of the work focuses on the stages in the process, exploring the opportunities for improving image quality from the photographer’s point of view, including experimental noise and resolution measurements. In addition to this written thesis, the doctoral submission also includes three artistic productions, i.e. photography exhibitions held at the Retretti Art Centre, Gallery Heino and Tampere Art Museum in 2010-2013 and the photography book Maiseman aika – Sense of time published in 2012. These creative parts of the work were prepared and executed using knowledge, skills and methods that arose or were discovered in the course of working on the thesis.The main results of this work as a whole lie in these artistic productions and various new series, including a total of about 70 artworks. In particular, there are three series, In the Shadow of the Earth, Solar Intensity and Landscape, that are based on a new idea for describing or representing the Finnish landscape. One measure of the quality of the photographs and the results of the research may be taken to be how the works have been received or appreciated by artistic institutions and in competitions. Works created during this period of study have received recognition or awards in the Fotofinlandia and Ars Fennica competitions, for example, and some have been acquired by major Finnish art museums. The experiments carried out and photographs produced during this work demonstrate that technically excellent image quality can be achieved by paying careful attention to quality at all stages of the image processing and by combining analogical and digital technology. The resolution tests, for example, indicated that a large-format film camera can achieve up to five times the performance of the best digital SLR camera. These tests tell us something of the technical differences between the images produced by different camera types and increase our knowledge in this respect. Also as a result of the research, a set of image quality diagrams has been produced that analyse and summarize in a new way the factors contributing to the quality of both image processing and the finished photographs, opening up new perspectives on the quality of images and broadening both our knowledge of the subject and discussions between image technology and photographic art and between photographers and viewers. The findings and results can also be applied to other similar issues and instances in which the focus is on relationships between the production, quality and reception of a particular product.
    Translated title of the contributionLaadun taika : valokuvan teknistaiteellisen laadun tekijälähtöinen tutkimus
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Salo, Merja, Supervising Professor
    • Eskola, Taneli, Thesis Advisor, External person
    • Oittinen, Pirkko, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-93-6595-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


    • valokuva
    • tekninen laatu
    • taiteellinen laatu
    • photograph
    • photographic art
    • techical quality
    • artistic quality


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