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three-and-a-quarter by four-and-a-quarter inches, fitted with a coupled range-finder for quick, accurate focusing, and with a synchronized speed flash and shutter control, making exposures possible under any light conditions. Needless to say retouching of any kind is strictly prohibited. Since the value of a photo-document lies in the directness of its technique, any intervention of hand-work is bound to be injurious. For the same reason the negatives are printed directly onto a smooth surface paper to allow full detail to be rendered.

But the documentary approach does not stop with the print. In discussing the use of the word documentary to describe a certain class of moving pictures, we noted the importance which presentation played in the theory. Presentation is also a vital part of documentary still
photography. The photograph is not valid as a document until it is placed in relationship to the beholder's experience. It is paradoxical that, although a photograph may be better than a thousand words, the addition of one or two words makes it even more concrete and forceful. Thus when Le Secq signed his negative "Chartres 1852," he immediately have the photograph an increased value as a document. Such a simple case has no bearing on esthetic quality. But more extended captions enable the beholder to orientate himself, thus leaving the photographer free to interpret the subject more imaginatively. A better way to give his orientation is by a series of photographs, which when properly presented approach the cinema. This is the richest manner of giving photographs significance, for each picture reinforces the other. It is, I believe, the logical method of presentation. It is more - it is the logical approach to the medium. One of the striking characteristics of photography is its case, compared with every other way of making pictures. Almost universally photographers take many exposures of a given scene, if only to make assurance doubly sure. The series is usually produced with no idea of the method of its ultimate presentation. The prints for publication are chosen by a second person, are captioned by a third, are laid out by a fourth.

If, as this article has attempted to show, creative photography can be produced by following a program of factual reporting, then the more clearly this program is conceived, the greater the results. A shooting script is as important for this type of still photography as for movie-making, and should be planned by the editor and by the photography working together. This does not mean that every shot need be envisaged on paper, but it does mean that the photographer should be considered the creator, not simply of individual pictures, but of a related series. Trimming, quality of reproduction, its relation to text and other reproductions in size and spacing - these are all as important as the photographer's work on the field and in the darkroom. The complete documentary approach includes these functions. And I believe that through this approach there can be achieved publications which, in every sense of the word, exploit the special medium of photography, and which will be significant contributions to book-making. In the German illustrated newspapers between the War and the Nazi revolution, in the Parisian Vu while edited by Lucien Vogel, in Photo-History, to a certain degree in Life and its imitators, occasionally in the tabloids, the possibilities are being shown. The text-books of the future will be largely pictorial; already children's books are assuming that character. Back of them all is the documentary approach to photography.

[[image - photograph]] 
RUINS OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA (1865)
Courtesy Signal Corps, U.S. Army
MATTHEW B. BRADY

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