Foundational Truths Or Lunatic Ravings?
Between the mid-1850s and the early twentieth century, photography, as we think of it today, was coming of age in England. This fascinating, inventive, and prolific generation of photographers uniquely connect to both of the worlds of Art & Science. Because it was more common in those days for students to receive formal training in drawing and painting, many of the late 19th century authors on photography leaned on the concepts they first learned.
The popular centerpiece was an 1837 book called "The Sketcher's Manual" by Frank Howard. Its subtitle reads, "The Whole Art of Picture Making Reduced To The Simplest Principles By Which Amateurs May Instruct Themselves Without The Aid Of A Master."
Repeatedly, innovators of yesterday converse about using "Principles" as a guide for photographers and industry experiencing rapid growing pains. Won’t you join us as we explore their ideas and enjoy a DPPA family conversation about how these "Principles" might still relate to us today?
To whet your appetite, I invite you to consider these three sample quotes.
'To admire on principle is the only way to imitate without loss of originality.'
Coleridge, Biographia Literaria.
'As our art is not a divine gift, so neither is it a mechanical trade. Its foundations are laid in solid science: and practice, though essential to perfection, can never attain to that which it aims unless it works under the direction of principle.'
Sir Joshua Reynolds.
'I direct attention to a principle rather than to mere rules, which can be expressed in so many words. But I must impress thus early upon you this dominant idea : that if a picture is to be successful, it must have a oneness of purpose or intention, a oneness of story, a oneness of thought, a oneness of lines, a oneness of light and shade.
Everything must have a meaning, and the meaning must be the object of the picture; there must be nothing "to let."'
Henry Peach Robinson, Pictorial Effect In Photography
We will be voting for the 2020 DallasPPA Board.