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This blog is intended to showcase my pictures or those of other photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment - photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful because what is true is most often beautiful..

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« decay # 11 ~ truly or falsely | Main | urban ku # 171 ~ can you say d-e-l-e-t-e? »

ku # 503 ~ more PH Emerson

Cloud bank on Whiteface • click to embiggen
I totally agree with Martin Doonan's comment - "There is certainly a lot of good material in Emerson's book." The more I read, the more 'good material' I find.

I am currently reading Chapter IV, Hints on Art, which is like a stream of consciousness list of thoughts about Art. Much of it reflects my ideas and thoughts on the same subject. It is very interesting, and a bit unsettling, to read the thoughts, written 120 years ago, of another that so closely match my own. Throw in the fact that he also photographs with a technique that also is based on exactly the same methodology as mine and it all gets a bit creepy.

A few nuggets mined from Chapter IV:

• Do not get caught by the sensational in nature, as a coarse red-faced sunset, a garrulous waterfall, or a fifteen thousand foot mountain.

• Avoid prettiness - the world looks much like pettiness and there is but little difference between them.

• Do not mistake sentimentality for sentiment, and sentiment for poetry.

• The value of a picture is not proportional to the trouble and expense it costs to obtain it, but to the poetry that it contains.

• The greater the work the simpler it looks and the easier it seems to imitate, but it is not so.

• Art is not to be found by touring Egypt, China, or Peru; if you cannot find it at your own door, you will never find it.

• Many photographers think they are photographing nature when they are only caricaturing her.

• When a critic has nothing to tell you save that your pictures are not sharp, be certain that he is not very sharp and knows nothing at all about it.

• The undeveloped artistic faculty delights in glossy and showy objects and in brightly colored things. The appreciation of delicate tonality in monochrome or colour is the result of high development. The frugivorous ape loves bright colours, and so does the young person of "culture", and the negress of the West Indies, bur Corot delighted only in true and harmonious coloring.

Reader Comments (1)

These quotes sound eerily familiar, Mark. I've added the book to my reading list. - JR

February 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Reifer

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