Saturday, August 06, 2016

Photography Is A Greedy Medium

It is clearly no coincidence that impressionism in art coincided with the development of photography. Once you could capture a true image of a scene or a person on paper or film, the school of art that strived to ape nature became redundant in the click of a shutter. Once you could get a daguerreotype of Auntie Winnie - warts and all - the last thing you needed to do was to employ some itinerant artist to do a similar job. If you did employ an artist, far better that he, or she, produce an impression of the fragrant Winnie as she wafted her way through life many decades ago.

But photography is a greedy medium: no sooner had it captured the representational market, it made a play for the impressionist work. You could even pretend that you had accidentally got the photo of Ethel and Joan and their boys out of focus and still come up with an impressionist masterpiece. 

Sheffield in winter becomes a steel symphony of light and shade.

The leaden skies seem to evaporate from the Lakeland hills.

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