A few freckles sprayed across the bridge of a toddler’s nose are widely considered adorable. But when the number of freckles on the face of someone older appears to rival the number of grains of sand in the ocean, the beholder will likely argue against their beauty.
And yet, Portland-based photographer Fritz Liedtke‘s Astra Velum series (that we first saw on Feature Shoot) gives freckles their close-up in a way that captures their ethereal-like quality — and their beauty. He celebrates the dots on the faces of women, some of whom have spent their lives trying to scrub off the markings.
One woman in the series told Liedtke that when she was a little girl, her grandmother asked her to go wash up. “She went to the bathroom and did so, but grandma wasn’t satisfied,” he said. “‘Your face isn’t clean! Go scrub it some more!’ The young girl was distraught, for all that was left on her skin were her freckles, and no amount of scrubbing would make them go away.”
“In a world that flaunts flawlessness as the ideal, can we find real beauty in the blemishes?” Liedtke asks. He said that on more than one occasion, while photographing the series, he was thanked by his subjects “for making something beautiful out of what they often viewed as an imperfection.”
At its essence, Astra Velum “explores the beauty of flawed human skin, with its freckles and scars, overlaid upon us like a thin veil of stars,” Liedtke says. The images are hand-printed using the photogravure technique, which brings the texture to the forefront in a tremendous fashion.
Take a look:[collection type=’slideshow’ style=’classic’]
All photos used with permission from Fritz Liedtke
More from Meredith on Babble:
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- Geeks Everywhere Drool with Envy at Pop-Culture Portraits Made with Lego Bricks (PHOTOS)