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A dissertation focuses on the concept of quality of printed photographs

By combining analog and digital techniques, it is possible to produce technically excellent image quality.

Teos: Flight #2.

In his doctoral dissertation, photographer Pekka Luukkola focused on the quality of printed photographs. It is a commonly used concept; however it is seldom defined. Laadun taika (‘The magic of quality’) studies quality of photographs on a broad basis from the point of view of both photograph technology and photographic art, and uses various research methods to approach the factors that affect the quality of photographs. The dissertation examines for example what factors constitute the quality of photographs and what means can be used to improve the quality at the different stages of the photograph production chain, i.e. the photographic process.

The tests and measurements carried out during the study show that technically excellent image quality can be achieved by focusing carefully on the quality of all stages of the photographic process and by combining analog and digital techniques. As a result of the study, quality diagrams were also created that demonstrate a new way of structuring the numerous artistic and technological factors that affect the quality of photographs.

Pekka Luukkola’s dissertation also comprises some artistic productions: three photography exhibitions and Maiseman aika – Sense of time, a 144-page photography book. The exhibitions have been on show at the Retretti Art Centre, Galleria Heino and Tampere Art Museum. When creating the pieces, Luukkola applied the knowledge and methods that were created during his research process. More than 70 new pieces of work were born as a result of the study. Many of them have been acknowledged, for example, in the Fotofinlandia and Ars Fennica competitions and many have also been included in the collections of the major art museums in Finland.

Public examination of the thesis

Pekka Luukkola’s doctoral dissertation Laadun taika. Valokuvan teknistaiteellisen laadun tekijälähtöinen tutkimus (‘The magic of quality. A creator-oriented study of the technical and artistic quality of photographs’) will be publicly defended at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture on Friday, 12 February 2016 at 12.00 in the Sampo Hall of Media Centre Lume, Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki. Photographer Leena Saraste, PhD, will act as opponent and professor Merja Salo from the Aalto University Department of Media as custos.

Orders for the dissertation can be placed with the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s online bookshop: shop.aalto.fi. Inquiries: [email protected], or tel. +358 50 313 7086.

Further information:
Pekka Luukkola, photographer
[email protected]

Pekka Luukkola’s photographs are on show 8–20 February 2016 in the Gallery of Media Centre Lume (Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki). Sixteen pieces that are included in the artistic parts of his dissertation are on display.

Luukkola’s new photographs as well as his video work Sense of time will be on show 5–26 March 2016 in an exhibition that will be opened in Galleria Heino in Helsinki at Uudenmaankatu 16–20.

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