- Pioneers: 1840s–60s
- The art of photography: 1880s–1910s
- Views and portraits: 1860s–80s
- Modern times: 1920s–40s
The art of photography
aesthetic efforts, amateur and professional
From the mid 1880s, photography became much more accessible with refinements making it possible for photographers to buy pre-coated, ready-to-use plates that could be taken on excursions or assignments and developed later. Amateur photography clubs began and magazines provided technical and artistic help. The Kodak cameras of the 1890s made amateur photography even easier as the processing could be done for the photographer.
Studio photographers provided high-quality portraits and views but the amateur photographers, often called ‘snapshooters’, brought a new spirit and enthusiasm to photography and provided images of everyday life. At the turn of the century a movement of ambitious art photographers emerged in Europe and America. Art photographers, later known as Pictorialists, soon appeared in the Asia–Pacific region.
The new photographers moved from glossy, sharp prints to impressionistic moods on matte surfaces. They gave the works fancy titles and exhibited them in elegant frames. A new era had begun. The art photography movement had an impact on professional photographers’ who sought to make their images more picturesque and atmospheric.