Naturalistic Photography

P H Emerson’s Naturalistic Photography is one of the classics of photographic literature. This newly-designed and typeset, 600-page edition includes the complete text of the definitive 1899 edition which includes additional essays by Emerson, among them the controversial Photography - Not Art. Written by "one of the most important book-makers amongst ninetheenth-century art photographers" it provides a unique insight into both photographic processes and photographic concerns during this formative period in the history of photography. Compared at the time to “dropping a bombshell at a tea party”, Naturalistic Photography marked the start of a crusade against academism in artistic photography and the beginning of the long transition into modernism.

Emerson has been called “the Martin Luther of photography” (John Szarkowski), and more recently “one of the most virulent polemicists in the history of photography” (Thomas Galifot, Musée d’Orsay). His fierce and trenchant writing is in sharp contrast to the gentle, atmospheric images of his pioneering photobooks such as Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads and what many regard as his masterpiece, Marsh Leaves (1895), "one of the most beautiful books about isolation and solitude, perhaps death, ever made" (Martin Parr & Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History). Emerson’s texts are today recognised as ranking alongside those of John Berger, Roland Barthes and John Szarkowski, as the precursors to contemporary thinking on photography.

Also available: Poetry in Photography

Impressionism in Pictorial and Glyptic Art
Phenomena of Sight and Art Principles Deduced Therefrom
Naturalistic Photography and Art

BOOK 2: Technique and Practice
The Camera and the Tripod
Darkroom and Apparatus
The Studio
Retouching Negatives
Transparencies, Lantern and Stereoscopic Slides
Photo-Mechanical Processes
Mounting and Framing

BOOK 3: Pictorial Art
Educated Sight
Outdoor and Indoor Work
Hints on Art
Special Decorative Photography

L’ENVOI: Photography – Not Art
Photography – Not Art

Appendix A: Science and Art
Appendix B: Topography and Art

One of the most important book-makers among nineteenth-century art photographers was Peter Henry Emerson... his treatise might be regarded as the beginning of the long transition into modernism. Naturalistic Photography argued that photography was an independent medium with its own inherent characteristics that should be strictly adhered to if it was to attain its full potential as a great art form.
From: Martin Parr & Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History Volume 1 (Phaidon Press, 2004).

Title: Naturalistic Photography for Students of the Art
Author: P H Emerson
Pages: 604
Illustrations: 30
Size: 203 x 127mm
Date: 2012
Editions: £49.95 [paperback] | £34.95 [eBook]
ISBN: 978-1-907697-58-6 [paperback]

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