A H Wall commented that excellence
was suffering as photographers pursued cheapness.
He said: "We make portraits as
others manufacture pins; so much money per gross, so much time, and
no more, for the making."
A Photographer's View
'"Thought and feeling, technical and
aesthetical beauty - pooh! nonsense! my dear
misguided utopian friend! we can't afford such luxuries.
Here comes a sitter; there is
the head-rest fixed for all comers in one spot. We cannot pause to
pose; we cannot waste time by considering the sitter's character,
features, expressions, personal peculiarities are nothing to do with us."
The result of the competition and lower prices was
"The natural result
of this may be found in the many signs of decreasing prosperity - in the
many photographic studios vacant and idle where we once every month almost
saw the erection of some new glass-rooms - in the ever-increasing list of
advertisements of respectable businesses to be let or sold constantly
visible in the photographic and non-photographic daily and weekly papers
A H Wall
asked: "But is there no hope for portraiture in the future?" -
then suggested that the hope would come through the public recognising
that photographers had a place to play in educating the public, just as
the public's taste in landscape photography had changed. He
The Public's Views Changes
denounced the then excessively popular white skies I remember how an
eminent photographer rose to say that unfortunately, although my
ideas were good they were not practicable, for neither the public
nor dealers in photographic landscapes would purchase them if
the skies were not 'nice and clean and white'
But white skies
are now quite exceptional things, and the public must have been
taught to appreciate natural skies too, for they purchase
photographic landscapes more largely now than then."
A H Wall concluded by recommending that photographers
should pursue excellence in art for its own sake:
"Art lovingly produced is lovingly