TruthBeauty - Pictorialism and the Photograph as Fine Art if you want to see a myriad of examples of the best of the genre. I could look for hours and hours on end at Steichen's Flatiron Building print and never get bored. But I can take in everything there is to see in Clearing Winter Storm in a single sitting. That's part of the message of the images though - one was designed to pull the viewer in - the other was designed to reach out to the viewer and smack them upside the head with a message. Both are highly successful at their goal, and as such they are acknowledged as masterpieces. Those pictorialist photos were every bit as much photographs as an Adams or Weston or Strand or even an Aaron Siskind. But they have their own aesthetic informed by painting, for a reason. I'll give you the argument that making a violin sound like a tuba for the sake of making a violin sound like a tuba will probably not yield the next Beethoven's 5th. But if you have a purpose for doing it, and can communicate that purpose, then maybe it will.