Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
We've strayed into the difficult area of context. The statement we're discussing is specifically about photography as art, so I shouldn't have mentioned magazines really.

However...
You wouldn't see a photo-realistic drawing on the cover of anything but an arts magazine, because ultimately, the viewer needs 'the big reveal' (that it's a drawing) for the image to have its full effect.
With the cover of a fashion magazine, the viewer needs to believe the photo presents a flawless reality for the image to have its full effect.

In the context of style and fashion magazines, the 'control and arrangement' of the images seeks to literally 'improve' the subject - which dangerously alters our expectations of reality.
In the context of an art gallery, we would be conscious of these images as 'alternative truths', which seek to alter the way we perceive reality.

I understand the writer wanted to keep it pithy, but for me, it would make better sense written as; 'to influence our perception of nature, by control and arrangement'.
Actually Frith was a painter and was trying to show photography's limits in relation to art, such as painting.

The magazine cover issue is well inbounds in this thread. The premise you brought up with the cover question is directly related to whether photography should be considered primarily a record or if it can be considered art.

Edit, Frith did transition into being a photographer.