Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Youdale View Post
So getting back on the topic, How sure are we that the high moral ground we occupy in passing judgement on the work of a long dead photographer with some unusual preferences for subject matter, is in fact the foundation of human values and decency? Or is it just that from where we stand at present it looks different and in another hundred years people may be making entirely different assessments? Will Mapplethorpe, Newton, and Henson become tarred with the same brush and pilloried, or regarded universally as brilliant pioneers of the genre?
All good discussion. Thanks very much.

But can we explore the phrase "passing judgement" for a moment. That seems to be one of the challenges we've faced in this thread. If anyone ever said, "XYZ is a criminal" then that is passing judgement. If one says, "It seems like certain behaviors of XYZ appear potentially wrong" then I'm not sure that is passing judgement.

I don't know Henson's work, but I feel confident saying that some people have already publically criticized Mapplethorpe, Newton, and Mann too. Same with "Jauque" Sturges. Sturges was investigated by FBI but never charged, tried or convicted. Sure, someone "passed judgement" on him to get the FBI investigation going but I don't know that most photographers particularly agree with that judgement. I surely don't. But how do I (or anyone except perhaps "Jauque" and his models) know for absolutely sure... I don't and can't.

Unfortunately when one embarks on "edgy behavior", whether photographic or otherwise, they will draw a great diversity of opinion. Some may pass judgement absolutely, but most that I know (and I think we have generally experienced in this thread) have opinions and insights but are sufficiently uncertain that the discussion is one of possiblilities rather than absolute condemnation.

If we are not allowed that opportunity, then we have little to discuss except the weather, and maybe in my location the traffic conditions. Nobody, I believe I can fairly say, has sufficient first-hand authoritative information to discuss politics, business practices, or historical events if we are not allowed to use best available information and fill in the gaps with analysis and a certain amount of conjecture.

But less philosopical and more toward photographic technique... does anyone know if Dodgson/Carroll (or others of that era) ever used artificial lighting, or light modifiers?