Our appreciation of a photograph’s potency still lies with the central concerns of authorial creativity and intent, representation of subject, and the depth of connection felt by a viewer.
Hippolyte Bayard’s Self-Portrait of the Photographer as a Drowned Man (1840) was arguably the first example of the photographic lie.
Camille Silvy’s River Scene, France/La Vallée de l’Husine (1858) and Henry Peach Robinson’s When the Day’s Work is Done (1877) are both complicated compositions made from multiple negatives.
Most recently, one has regularly witnessed a negative argument that the digital age has brought an unsurpassed ‘flood’ of images distributed through news, social media, and popular culture that has harmed art photography.
This argument is alarmist and too simplistic, especially remembering influential historical parallels which this argument inspires.