Another somewhat hilarious discussion.
Since pictorialism began to gather steam with William Newton, speaking at the Photographic Society of London in 1853, denouncing the glut of detail produced by "chemical photography" and the art critic Henri de la Blanchère saying "the less machine, the more art" in 1859, there has been this split between the romantic individualists on the one hand emphasising art as personal expression and on the other hand the rational naturalists viewing art as an objective study of nature. A bit of a simplification I know, but let's not get into radical subjectiveness or modern idealism!
How is it that it is forbidden to do what makes you happy?
I am reminded of one of my photographic heroines, Julia Margaret Cameron. After her two one-woman shows in 1866 and 1868, Henry Peach Robinson hypocritically wrote of her work "if studies in light and shade only are required, let these be done in pigment or charcoal, with a mop if necessary..."
Cameron had already rebutted Robinson's outrageous critique, writing in 1864: "What is focus - and who has a right to say what focus is the legitimate focus?" Go Julia! Kick him in the balls.
Nice article and image Kevin. On my screen the photograph comes up a bit overdone for my taste, but I think in print it would be a different matter.