Obscurity and neglect dogs the fate of anyone so foolish as to put the pursuit of his personal vision in photography above the demands of the rotary presses; or puts his vision above the ideals of popular photography. Hence photographers who have a warm desire to cultivate the promise of their youth will have to tighten their belts and go on despite ravenous presses and the obsessions of popular photography.
An unexpected confluence of forces occurred recently to produce an exhibition: the Lexington Camera Club and the Art Department of the University of Kentucky jointly sponsored an exhibit called CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY—1956. Not only is the sponsorship newsworthy but the sponsors invited only non pictorialist, non-salonist, and non-photo journalist photographers to show!
There are two courses open to the photographer. He can make the uncommon common. Or he can make uncommon the common. The classic example of the photographer who aims to make the uncommon common is the news photographer. His goal is not to record the ordinary and the everyday, but the extraordinary and the unusual.
Can you imagine a man, or a crew, that would refuse to swap creative processing for a shooting job? Incredible as this must appear to photographers such men exist, such crews function, and the labs they work in thrive. Bernard Hoffman runs such a lab in New York, Pierre Gassman operates another in Paris.
Dr. Steinert does the creative photographers of the world a great service by energetically waving the flag of subjective photography in the face of the impersonal and the imitative. He gives considerable dignity and status to the serious photographer who, not only serious, has some talent for creativeness, no taste for the sentimental, and furthermore can see beyond the glass horizon of a lens.
With the beginning of summer in the Sierra, Ansel Adams will again hold his Photographic Workshop in Yosemite Valley. This year the course will consist of one ten-day session (instead of two one-week sessions held formerly) beginning on June 15th and continuing through June 24th.
THE SWEET FLYPAPER OF LIFE is a small book of words and photographs that together quietly unfold the story of Sister Mary Bradley. Blending into the unity of eyes and voice, hearing and thought, they bring to you the musings of an elderly lady rich in living.
Contrary to expectations the people of Moscow go about their business the same as we do. They shop, go to school, admire the murals in their new subway, wonder why people photograph them, stand in long lines to visit the tombs of public heroes.
THE CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHER is one man's attempt to analyze a subject, to comprehensively cover a subject that would be a challenge to the most astute of aestheticians; so it was with great hopes that I took up the book. Over the past fifteen years Mr. Feininger has dealt with this subject off and on, starting with his excellent NEW PATHS IN PHOTOGRAPHY. He has evolved a style of comprehensive academic presentation, though he occasionally decries this dreadful person.
Annuals come out only once a year, and this year they're cheerful for a change. But in looking them over one cannot avoid a certain wistful longing for a bit more unity of presentation. A nifty way of doing annuals would of course be to present smaller ones, each dealing with only one or two approaches to photography, or with the work of several photographers presented in sufficient quantity to give the viewer some idea of the man and his philosophy.