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Henry Peach Robinson - Essay Example

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Henry Peach Robinson

The best-known nineteenth-century popularizer of fine-art principles among photographers was Henry Peach Robinson, an English commercial photographer who published a series of popular studio manuals introducing design concepts such as balance (of lines and mass), composition (of figures and lines), and chiaroscuro to both American and European photographers." (Brown, 187-8) Through his single most famous text, Pictorial Effect in Photography (1869), Robinson celebrated pictorialistic style which helped the development of photography in general. Therefore, Henry Peach Robinson is the most important photographer and theoretician of the nineteenth century and he is celebrated as the pioneer of pictorialist photography. An analysis of the major works by this eminent photographer and the photographic tools and processes used by him helps one in comprehending the elements of pictorialism and the pictorialistic style in detail. ...
"The term pictorialism was used generally by photographers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to describe an artistic approach to the making of photographs as well as to define a number of specific groups organized to promote art photographers and their work... In 1869, Henry Peach Robinson published his Pictorial Effect in Photography, giving weight to the notion of photography as a self-conscious art form and popularizing the critical concept of pictorialism." (Peres, 103) It is essential to comprehend the definition of pictorialism exactly as the modern usage of the term has been found misleading and pictorialism original referred to any photograph that put the completed picture first and the subject second. Therefore, pictorialism also incorporated the more modern trends the photographs of this category emphasized atmosphere or viewpoint more importantly than the subject. The historical significance of the movement also helps one to realize the various aspects of pictorialism. "Pictorialism served historically as a reaction against the flood of unexceptional and easy photographs enabled by the technical advances of the 1880s. Convenient innovations such as the dry plate hand-held camera, and flexible roll film, as well as improved camera design and optical sharpness, made camera work available to a larger group of amateurs whose primary concern was the graphic recording of information." (Peres, 103) The photographers of pictorialistic movement were disapproving of the literal representation of subjects and the scientific and commercial applications of the medium. Therefore, the formation of a group under the banner of pictorialism needs to be realized as a natural and spontaneous attempt to promote ...Show more

Summary

One of the most prominent influences in the history of photography has been Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901), the English photographer and theoretician whose photographic tools, styles, and contributions turned out to be the corner stone of modern photography…
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