Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
I can't seem to open the link, so not sure what the quote is really all about.

"Improve upon nature by control and arrangement"............wow, that's heavy. It appears to me to mean that photography simply can only "record" nature and present the viewer with only what is factual and literal about nature, whereas the painter or other type of artist is more free to present nature the way they see it or that they have the ability to take the viewer in so many more directions. And therefore we pay a price because we are relegated to a mere recording device. If anything I just said is even remotely close to the actual meaning of that quote, then I would have to say, no, I don't agree with that premise. Sounds like a "pictorialism" vs. "straight photography" argument to me. But I'm probably way off base, IDK.
Actually you are very close.

Don't know why you can't see the link try copying and googling the following. " william russel young st. andrews soft focus " it came up for me as the top link.

The quote by Firth is in Young's PHD Thesis.

What actually flashed through my head first was formal portraiture versus candid photo journalism. Steve McCurry is an interesting example. Many of his shots that look candid are actually setups. I know several people who have worked along side him and were taught by him to grab a subject person you like and then put them into the setting you want. McCurry seems to "dispense very well with the middle term" as Firth puts it, and "Improve upon nature by control and arrangement" quite nicely.