Re: For the love of Pictorialism (the white plastic bag)

From: Dave Rose ^lt;>
Date: 02/08/04-11:39:16 AM Z
Message-id: <004601c3ee6a$79536b40$c6cc9045@Dave>

I can certainly relate to the beautiful landscape you live in and
photograph. My house is situated near the bank of the Shoshone River in NW
Wyoming. Snow-capped mountains surround us, with panoramic views in all
directions, ranging from the wildly eroded facade of the McCullough Peaks
just across the river to the massive Beartooth Plateau in southern Montana.
I've photographed my share of trash-strewn industrial sites in New Jersey,
but here in Wyoming the occasional piece of wind blown trash is a major

My venture into alternative photography was inspired by Crawford's "The
Keepers Of Light". As I experimented and learned how to print cyanotype and
gum, I also studied photo history. The Pictorialist style intrigued me, in
part because a lot of gum printing was done during that era. When an
exhibit of Pictorial Photography was hung at Princeton University, I went to
see it. I was amazed at the quality of some of the work there, in
particular the gum prints, that being my primary interest. Some of the
prints were large and very dramatic. That show was quite inspiring.

While there, I purchased the exhibit catalog: Record of the Art Museum,
Princeton University, Volulume 51, Number 2, 1992. ISSN:0032-843x. There's
an introduction and essay on pictorial photography by Peter C. Bunnell.
Bunnell also makes a passing mention of his book "A Photographic Vision:
Pictorial Photography 1889-1923".

Here's the first paragraph from Bunnell's essay in the aforementioned
catalog: "In the last decade of the nineteenth century a movement in
photography emerged that had as its basis the artistic style known as
Pictorialism. The aim of this photographic style was to make poetic,
expressive photographs related to, and, in some cases derived from, the
traditional arts in matters of content and meaning. A tenet was that in
issues of craft or technique, the act of making a fine photographic print
was analogous to the creative and tangible articulation of materials in any
medium. In terms of a distinctive succession of events such as exhibitions,
publications, and museum recognition, the movement lasted from 1890 to the
end of World War I. An international endeavor, its objective was to assure
photography an essential place within contemporary pictorial expression."

Best regards,
Dave Rose
Big Wonderful Wyoming

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2004 3:34 AM
Subject: For the love of Pictorialism (the white plastic bag)

> In a message dated 07/02/04 21:21:24 GMT Standard Time,
> writes:
> > >BTW, I would ve very interested in following a
> > >"Pictorialism" discussion (to be enlightened on
> > >the subject) here...
> .
> Continuing, From our kitchen window we look out onto a landscape of a
> square mile ploughed field behind which there are low hills with the edge
of a
> forest to the right, a church spire and to the left a small industial
> and a village in the distance. At present the field has been resown with
> and is a beautiful great expanse of green. As the seasons and the light
> change this scene continually presents a fresh fascination for me. Rather
in the
> same way that Monet found the subject of a haystack in changing light
> something which he had to paint many times I have photographed our
landscape in all
> seasons and weathers. The cloud formations are an important changing
> Last night at 3 am at dead of night I pulled on my gum boots
> made my way a quarter of a mile in the mud across the field to retrieve a
> plastic bag which had been blown to a point right in the middle of the
> where it had decided to station itself creating an unwanted centre of
> attention. My wife said I was mad to do this but to my mind this was an
act of
> concern for pictorialism and will have been worth the effort when I start
a new
> series of large format images taken with my new home built 12'' X 16''
> negative roll camera.
> The white plastic bag contained several empty aluminium beer
> and had been tied to prevent them falling out..... just light enough to
> been blown by a high wind. It has crossed my mind in the past few hours
> maybe I should have snapped the scene with plastic bag in situe before
> removing it from the picture but then I could always replace it if I felt
> might, after all, add to the pictorialist nature of the image.
> Any comments? Spring is near. All the best.
> Photographist - John Grocott - London
Received on Sun Feb 8 11:36:30 2004

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