Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Comments by Alfred H Wall on

Portraiture

A H Wall commented that miniature painters had flattered their sitters.  Sir Joshua Reynolds had suggested that when painting flesh, the painter should think of "a pearl and a ripe peach".  So when photography was first considered for portraiture, its failure was predicted because it could only tell the truth.

However, A H Wall described how wrong these critics had been:

Photography for replaces Miniature Paintings

"... the boundless success of the new art most decidedly proved;  and to make that proof all the more striking, the early photographic portraits, so far from flattering their subjects did just the reverse.

It was positively because photographic portraits did not flatter that photography became the rage;  and for every one of the banished face-flatterers of the palate there sprung up a thousand mechanical followers of the chemicals and the camera, all of whom found a most liberal share of public patronage awaiting them, and many of whom retired quietly in a few years, comfortably provided for during their lives."

A H Wall explained that the unfortunate face-flatterers were soon in demand again, to "alter and improve" the photographs:

The face-flatterers are in demand again

"No sooner was the image of the camera obtained upon paper than the pernicious old ideas of falsehood and flattery were revived.

The unfortunate face-flatterers were again in demand, and so greatly in demand that their ranks were swelled from every quarter  -  scene-painters, paint colourists, young lady and gentlemen amateur painters, and artists from abroad.

All, all were in immense request, and to work they all went "altering and improving" , cutting out here, putting in there, softening and destroying that   - in short torturing the poor photographs into something which should resemble the worst of those inane old things which photography by virtue of its truth had driven triumphantly from the field of public favour."   ...

"And thus they thrived, and an army of photographic touchers-up and colourists also thrived, growing and spreading mightily over the whole face of the land."

This demand for "altering and improving" did no last long.  As the carte de visite mania took hold, demand returned for true likenesses.  In the words of A H Wall:

The face-flatterers lose favour

"... but (as those who wait in the reception rooms of portrait establishments can prove) the number of unfortunate colourists and touchers-up who, having nothing better to do, wander in shabbiness and mournfulness from street to street, hopelessly exhibiting their specimens and soliciting work, is sadly too large, although even now increasing."

A H Wall concluded:

Conclusion

"Speaking with the weight of fifteen years' experience, I say depend upon it in portraiture, as in most other things "honesty is the best policy".  Photography  took the place of the old-fashioned portrait painters because it was more true."   ...

"Flattery appeals but to the personal vanity of fops and fools while the art which is applied to faithfully realising and perpetuating the persons and features of individuals is upheld by all the best and noblest feelings of our nature."

[British Journal of Photography 1 October 1863, pp.388-389]

 

 

Alfred H Wall

More Pages

BJP Articles      Composition Photography     EPS Lecture     Excellence v Cheapness  

Great Exhibition      Portraiture       Thomas Sutton      Photographic Societies

  

 

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Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks