“To paint or to photograph —
That is the question:
Whether ’tis more to my advantage
Photographic accidents and call
Or squeeze the bulb against
a sea of critics
And by exposure kill them?”*
“It is only a general tendency towards the mysterious and bizarre which these workers have in common; they like to suppress all outlines and details and lose them in delicate shadows, so their meaning and intention become hard to discover. They not only make use of every appliance and process known to the photographer’s art, but without the slightest hesitation, …overstep all legitimate boundaries and deliberately mix up photography with the technical devices of painting and the graphic arts.”†
A plea for Straight Photography by Sadakichi Hartmann, 1904.
Quoted from Photography: Essays & Images Edited by Beaumont Newhall, 1980, p.185.
*Sadakichi Hartmann, Camera Work 6 (April 1904), p.25.
†Originally printed in American Amateur Photographer 16 (March 1904) pp. 101-109.
I’m guilty. I carry on working with the mysterious and bizarre that Hartmann complained about for eight pages 112 years ago.