At the moment I am reading Dick Stevens’ excellent book, Kallitype: The Processes And The History. I’m fascinated by the way photographic history repeats itself:
Some felt that contemporary printmaking had been simplified till little remained but “slavish following of recipes.” After 1880 complaints abound about newer films and papers that offered few creative possibilities and little intellectual challenge. The implication was that photography without process decisions and media variability gave the worker little sense of personal involvement and little pleasure of accomplishment.
~ Dick Stevens, Kallitype: The Processes and The History
Fast forward some 130 years and the only thing that has changed is that now it is even easier to churn out technically flawless photographs. In fact it’s now so easy that people have started using software to introduce ‘retro’ imperfections into their photos – in a technically flawless way, of course.
Round and round we go.