Quotation by Heinrich Schwarz

He does not create his object in reality as does the painter, but he creates, before the camera begins to function, the irrevocably ultimate aesthetic form. He carries the notion of the shape of an object in himself and he takes the object destined for that form, giving it a certain position or moving it into a certain situation of light, in a certain relation to space.... The photographer's artistic performance is thus displayed in pre-photographic and in post-photographic action; in the preparation for real photographic action and in the reproduction of the photograph. The painter recreates his object from beginning to end ... through his activity, through his painting. The photographer, it is true, changes his object, too, by his photographic action ... he gives the convincing shape, most clearly adequate to his perception, before, and he fixes this shape in a mechanistic way.... Whereas the painter remains creative from first to last, the creative activity of the photographer is confined and limited; whereas the artistic action of the painter is not interrupted, the artistic action of the photographer breaks off in the moment in which the apparatus is to fix and make visible its effect.
Heinrich Schwarz (1894–1974), Czechoslovakian-born U.S. art historian. "On Photography, Part II," Art and Photography: Forerunners and Influences, University of Chicago Press (1985).
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