Motives are spurs to achievement in any field. As a rule people, including creative ones, need to be needed in order to produce effectively. And photographers are no exception to the rule. In fact we might offer lack of motivation as a possible reason why there are so many young photographers who, once the initial enthusiasm is worn out, are never heard of again.
Rose Mondel has selected the contrast of sharp and soft as her main medium of investigation and has devoted more years to it than probably any other photographer. This specialization has given her a fluidity of expression hardly thought possible in such a limited field.
Photographers who make a living more or less with photography generally seem to be a breed unto themselves—or so they like to think. The cliché, "You don’t have to be crazy, but it helps," is often heard among the hacks. The public, suspicious of the brash young men who thrust cameras into other people’s business, disrupt the course of natural events, constantly explode flash bulbs, is ready to agree that insanity is an ingredient.
Because of the rapidly expanding need for teachers in the foreseeable future, teaching photography at all levels, high school, trade school and college, can be seriously considered a potential occupation by men who are now students in various photographic schools and departments.
The practice of photography is commonly thought of as an art by both amateur and professional. Consequently, demarcation between art and pseudo-art is carelessly tossed aside as irrelevant or non-existent. Not until actual premises and predilections disposing photography to the realm of art are clearly presented and characterized can matters of aesthetic judgment in this field hold much meaning.
The photography section is one of four sections of the Institute of Design, an academic department of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Each section is semi-autonomous, but participates in a mutually-agreed-upon total program. Interplay among the sections—product design, visual design, shelter, art education—goes on all the time and keeps the students (as well as instructors) aware of other ideas in design, other techniques, and philosophical implications.
When seventy-five year old California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco introduced a photography department in 1946, the way was opened for a race teaching experience. This unusual program, which lasted seven years, may be quickly summed up as an experience of teaching photography at graduate level —and as an experience in teaching photography the only way it can be taught effectively, namely by doing, by intensely doing.
Of the twenty-eight photographs reproduced in this spectacular book, seventeen are recent, made between 1952 and 1956. Handsomely reproduced, the photographs are spaced one to every other page and in the size of the original contact prints which vary from 4×5 to 8×10 inches.
About the time I sat down to pour over the latest crop of annuals one of the Hungarian issues of LIFE hit my mailbox. There, tragic as life can be, was the face of a Hungarian rebel wounded by Soviet fire—a face and eyes not to be forgotten tomorrow, or next year— a face such as those David Duncan photographed in Korea: eyes that have seen much too much.
The best barometer of the editorial effecliveness of any magazine are the letters from irate readers. To be sure the notes and letters of congratulation and adulation are balm; but if this quarterly is to be a journal of opinion, opinions have to be expressed.