Expounded are the techniques and aesthetic criteria that set the tune for art photography's espousal primarily of Impressionist tendencies. The symptoms of this manner in professional and amateur photography are characterized. Named among its exponents are Britons Alfred Horseleigh-Hinton, Emil Otto Hoppe and Alexander Keighley, the Belgian Leonard Missonne, the Frenchmen Robert Demachy and Carl Puyo, the Austro-Hungarians Hans Watzek, Hugo Heeneberg and Heinrich Kuhn, and the Germans Frau E. Nothman, Rudolph Duhrkoop, Nickola Perscheid and Hugo Erfurth.
An analysis is preferred of the work of early-20th-century Russian art photographers Nikolai A. Petrov, Nikolai Bobir, who specialized in landscapes, the portraitist Miron Sherling, and also Yuri Yeryomin and Nikolai Andreyev, who were likewise active after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia. Note is taken of the early stages in the careers of the Czech master Josef Sudek and the Polish photographer Jan Bulhack.
In themselves the use of soft-focus lens and the enriching of positives did not set the tune for trends in early-20th-century art photography. Rather did this derive from ideological affiliation. Many preferred pure photographic techniques without necessarily aping painting techniques. Assessed from the angle are the stylistic attitudes of photographers of different countries. Noted are the Hofmeisters, Theodor and Oskar, who despite their love of the romantic, are ensconced in the history of German photography as masters of the realistic trend.
In Russia, an exponent of the democratic realist attitude was Sergei Lobovikov of the Urals city of Vyatka, today Kirov. The general conclusion is drawn that over the second half of the 19th century and at the beginning of this present, 20th century, photography as the first of the arts to exploit picture- taking techniques, gradually established itself in the cultural world both as documental recorder and as means of communicating visual information, especially via illustrated newspapers and magazines.