What the Camera Is Capable of Doing, All Things Being Equal.

Fred Holland Day

To many, people, to most, perhaps, a photograph is a photograph, and only a photograph, and because a photograph, of little or no consequence as art; but just as soon as they will learn to examine it for qualities not dissimilar to those which make etched prints and lithographs so full of charm and real value, they will find, to their own great surprise, that these qualities actually exist there in as abundant richness, providing the skill of the creators have been equal. The values of light and shade as produced with a lens run as wide a gamut and are as capable of as delicate variations as were ever produced by means of slabs of stone or plates of copper. The feeling tn texture is presented with as much nicety In a print from a photographic negative as in that from a piece of engraved metal. Yet we have discovered that all this may be and no art exist, unless our example possess that subtle quality of great variety.

A few there are in England and Franco and Germany and our own country who are bending all their efforts to prove that this quality may be as fully possessed by one who chooses to express it through the means of a camera, as by his brother who has made choice of other implements. The critic should bear in mind that the medium is new, that scarce half a century has gone by since Its Inception, and not more than five and twenty years—nay, not even so many—since the discovery of many of the processes which are of inestimable advantage towards the production of what he will. I believe, sooner or later be forced to acknowledge the new art.—

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F. Holland Day In the “New Lippincott” for January.

Mon, Jan 1, 1900 – 5 · The Muscatine Journal (Muscatine, Iowa)