Studio: international art — 3.1894

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Suppression and Modification in Photography

ON SOME METHODS OF implies has come to suggest to us a very defimt,

SUPPRESSION AND MODI- character of its own, and .f we cons.der what that

FICATION IN PICTORIAL impression 1S1t ,s scarcely to be wondered at that

PHn-mfRAPHY a Seneral exclamation at thu Salon was that a

n ' large number of the pictures exhibited were not a

The tendency amongst latter-day photographers bit like a photograph. The work of the unimagina-

who aim at producing pictorial results is to tive, soulless camera is one thing, but it is quite

disclaim as much as possible the mechanical another to cause the effect of its work to take an

assistance which they derive from the work of entirely different direction from that which it

the unintelligent camera, and to ask more credit would take in the hands of the purely mechanical

for what, in many cases, may fairly be termed operator, however mechanically skilful he may be.
creative power not dissimilar from that which That artistic work in photography is almost



gives to other graphic processes the character wholly in the hands ot what are called amateurs

and name of Art. The pictures exhibited at the would, at first sight, appear to be surprising ; but

Dudley Gallery Photographic Salon last year (an it is hardly so if we consider what professional

institution which is to become an annual one), photography, as it is called, really is. From the

astonished those who have been accustomed manner in which it is carried out it must

to see in photography nothing more than a necessarily be mechanical to the last degree, and it

purely mechanical process, in the working of is incontestable that its results are bad as art.

which no true artistic qualifications are needed, in Yet we have been trained to accept if, and the.only

which, in fact, no art is possible. The character question remaining to be answered is how much

of the best work shown at the Salon--and the longer we shall continue to do so. It is a palpable

members and exhibitors of that Society include and instructive fact that if we were to take the

amongst them, probably with few exceptions, all half-dozen leading professionals in all the chief

who have any claim to be called artistic in photo- cities in the world, we should find that there is

graphy—is directly antithetical to that kind of not a pin to choose between their productions,

mechanical picture-making which we associate Wherever we may find it, this work is equally

with the term photograph. AYhat this term mechanical, equally the result of a stereotyped

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