The Fine Art of Photography

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by Paul Lewis Anderson, 1919

Text of The Fine Art of Photography

  • THE FINE ART 0~., PHOTOGRAPHY

    BY

    PAUL L. ANDERSON, E.E. ~

    ~ ARNO PRESS A NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY

    NEW YORK * 1973

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  • Reprint Edition 1973 by Arno Press Inc.

    Copyright 1919 by J. B. Lippincott Company

    Reprinted by permission of Mary G. Anderson

    Reprinted from a copy in The University of Illinois Library

    The Literature of Photography ISBN for complete set: 0-405-04889-0 See last pages of this volume for titles.

    Publisher's Note: The frontispiece has been reproduced in black and white for this edition.

    Manufactured in the United States of America

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

    Anderson, Paul Lewis, 1880-1956. The fine art of photography.

    (The Literature of photography) 1. Photography, Artistic. I. Title.

    II. Series. TR642.A53 1973 770 1 .28 72-9180 ISBN 0-405-04891-2

  • THE FINE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY

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  • PORTRAIT OF ELIZABETH BAMMACBEB BY PAUL L ANDERSON From a Biehrome Color

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    THE FINE ART Of, PH TOGRAPHY

    BY

    PAUL L. ANDERSON, E.E. AUTHOR OF "PICTORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY: IT& PRINCIPLES AND l'RAt:'l'ICII"

    WITll FRONTISPIECE IN COLOR, B.J REPRODUCTIONS Oj' PHOTOGRAPHS, AND 17 DIAGRAMS

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    PIDLADELPHIA AND LONDON J. B~ LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

    . 1919

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  • TO PRISCILLA AND RUTH

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  • FOREWORD IN " Pictorial Photography, Its Principles

    and Practice " the author endeavored to pro-duce a textbook which should furnish technical information to those camera workers who de-sire to express artistic impulses, thus enabling them to choose the best medium for any par-ticular purpose, and to become skilled in its use; but the aim of the present work is, on the other hand, to supplement the earlier book by pointing out the nnderlying principles of art insofar as they can be applied to photography, and to encourage the student of the subject to apply these principles in his own work.

    Necessarily this book must differ in a meas-ure from the fonner one as regards plan, since technique, which is entirely scientific, can be a matter of rule, whereas an artistic impulse, being purely of the mind and dealing with intangible things, cannot be reduced to a for-mula. Photography is unique among the graphic arts in that it is absolutely imperative that scientific knowledge and artistic feeling

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  • FOREWORD

    go hand-in-hand to the production of a fine result; and, though scientific knowledge may be acquired by rote, artistic feeling must result from observation, from meditation, from the use of the logical faculties, and above all from the exercise of the imagination. It has been the author's endeavor to present the conclu-sions, reached through many years of study, in such a manner that the reader may be stimu-lated to apply his mental powers to the task of seeing and thinking for himself, since only thus can lasting and valnable works of art be pro-duced, and only thus can photography take its rightful lofty place among the fine arts.

    There is in this country a widespread predi-lection in favor of what may be termed tabloid or predigested information, this predilection arising from an unfortunate belief that one who has memorized a large number of facts is ipso facto educated. The author cannot too strongly impress upon the reader the fact that this belief is utterly erroneous; true education comes only from observation and logical cor-relation of the observed phenomena. There are no rules in art.

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  • FOREWORD

    The author's thanks are due to Mr. Henry R. Poore, for pennission to make use of the conclusions set forth by him in his exceedingly valuable work, " Pictorial Composition and the Critical Judgment of Pictures "; to Mr. Bertrand H. Wentworth for the admirable discussion of marine photography given in Chapter IX; and to the photographers who have so kindly furnished the prints which have been used to illustrate the text and to embel-lish the book, but especially to Mr. Eilers, whose " Summer Landscape " has been used without permission, the author having been unable to get in touch with this artist.

    In view of the conditions existing at the time of writing, and in order to forestall any pos-sible criticism by patriotic reviewers or readers, it seems well to state that, although there are several German-sounding names included in the list of artists who have furnished illustra-tions for this work, none of these photog-raphers is in fact German. The writer is not altogether in sympathy with the ideA. of con-demning indiscriminately all members of a nation because that nation has shown itself,

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  • FOREWORD

    collectively, incapable of appreciating the higher ideals which animate the civilized peo-ples, any more than he is prepared to condemn a family because some member of that family has proved a .criminal; but the fact remains that this book is written for American and English readers and that the German attitude of mind is such that it would be difficult to find illustra-tions from the work of German photographers which would be of interest or value to the read-ers to whom the author wishes to appeal. The bearers of German names whose pictures are here reproduced are actually either American or English by birth and sympathy.

    P. L.A. EAST ORANGE, N. J., 1919.

  • CONTENTS CJIAPTBB PAOli

    I. INTRoDUCTORY . . . . . 15 II. CoMPOSITION . . . . . . 8!!

    III. vALUES ......

    IV. SuGGESTION AND MYsTERY ..... V. LANDSCAPE WoRK ...........

    VI. WINTER WORK .........

    VII. LANDSCAPE WITH FIGURES; FIGURES IN

    LANDSCAPE; GENRE; ILLUSTRATION .

    VIII. ARCHITECTURAL WORK ..........

    IX. MARINE WoRK ..................

    X. MOTION-PICTURE WORK .............

    XI. PORTRAITURE ............

    XII. THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE HAND CAMERA

    XIII. CONCLUSION ......

    71 90

    101 1!!7

    148 177 195 ill !!Si

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  • ILLUSTRATIONS ......

    PoRTRAIT oF ELIZABETH HAMMACHEB (in color) Paul L. Anderson. Frontilpiece

    PoRTRAIT oF MY MOTHER . . . . . . . . 18 Paul L. Anderson.

    ILLUSTRATION FOR A STOBY.................... so Lejaren a Hiller.

    MIST IN THE vALLEY. . 41! Anonymous.

    A HILLSIDE pASTURE. . . . 66 W. E. Macnaughtan.

    THE WooDs oF CoLONos...................... 68 H. Y. Siimmons.

    A SuMMER LANDSCAPE. . . . . . 80 Bern F. Eilers.

    EVENING BREEZES. 92 J. S. Fowler.

    A CoUNTRY RoAD. . . . 106 Anonymous.

    HASSW SEEKS THE GENIE OF THE Rocu. . . . . . 118 W. G. Fitz.

    FINIS .............. ISO Annie W. Brigman.

    BLIND MAs's BuFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141! Clarence H. White.

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  • ILLUSTRATIONS THE BAT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156

    Gertrude Kasebier. THE PRELUDE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

    Laura Gilpin. MEISSEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

    Karl Struss. THE FL.UIRON. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19~

    PaulL. Anderson. EASTERLY WEATHER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206

    Bertrand H. Wentworth. A MouNTAIN MEADOW. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9l18

    Anonymous. SYCAMORES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

    Anonymous. PoRTRAIT oF Da. EDwARD A. REILEY. . . . . . . . . 242

    Paul L. Anderson. THE BRIDE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256

    Gertrude Kasebier. PORTRAIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270

    Catherine Collier. PRISCILL.-\ .... , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282

    Paul L. Anderson. PoRTRAIT oF Mas. GEORGE B. HoLLISTER . . . . . 294

    Paul L. Anderson. J,F.YLET EL W AH~HAH . . . . . . 806

    H. Y. Summons.

  • THE FINE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY

    I INTRODUCTORY

    THERE are almost as many definitions of the phrase " fine art " as there are writers on the subject, one author even maintaining that any beautiful object produced by man is a work of fine art, a definition which would obviously include Oriental rugs, automobiles, grand pianos and repeating rifles; but the definition which the present author prefers, and on which the discussion in the following pages is based,

    is as follows: A fine art is any medium of ex-pression which permits one person to convey to another an abstract idea of a lofty or ennobling character, or to arouse in another a lofty emo-tion. It will be seen that this includes dancing, music, prose writing, poetry, architecture and the various