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Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Apr 18, 2014.
Take a look at his collodion kit. It's pretty cool.
Charles Dodgson had a brilliant mind and I recommend the complete works of Lewis Carroll to anyone interested in creative exploration of thought and imagery.
I'm not sure it's responsible to recommend a photographic portfolio of that nature without at least a fairly major disclaimer. Some of it would probably get the photographer a long holiday at government expense if taken today, and I'm not sure if it's all even legal to view under current law in some countries.
Roger Taylor wrote and excellent piece on Charles Dodgson in Lewis Carroll, Photographer: The Princeton University Library Albums. It's the definitive publication and lays some myths to rest.
Princeton has the complete archive of Dodgsons writings, diaries, and negatives as well as albums an the book is amazing as every page/image was individually colour proofed. Needless to say it's also very expensive.
There is no evidence to support what you are suggesting. I prefer to give him the benefit of doubt. He was just a naive maths lecturer.
Well, I saw an exhibition (in England) a couple of years ago. I don't know if much was left out but what was shown made up a good exhibition.
I don't have an opinion on the guy, but times, mores, and laws have changed. Certainly some of his photos qualify as NSFW in a way that I really, really wouldn't want to have to explain to an IT department.
Roger Taylor found that Dodgson was very meticulous and recorded all the images he made in his diaries, when he photographed young girls they were chaperoned and all the images were made in a short period of time not over years as many had previously suggested. In addition at that time there was a craze for printed cards of paintings of young girls in similar poses which were seen as innocent, Dodgson was merely joining that bandwagon, whether that was appropriate is another issue and Victorian morals changed and he was caught up in the backlash and dropped out of public life..
Roger was one of my Tutors at University (on my MA course) and we spent an afternoon discussing his research and the book, and perceptions of Dodgson.
So what do you think?
There's two issues, one is that the current climate of the perceived morality of photographing young children without clothes is probably flawed and over the top and biased against people taking quite innocent images of their own family and that affects artists as well. So that informs current perceptions of a few of Dodgsons images There weren't many).
Then there's no doubt that Dodgson was foolish making some of the images he did for misguided reasons (probably commercial as he intended to sell the images) but he wasn't a pedophile. Images like his were freely available at the time he made them.
We should be comparing these Dodsons images to work made by photographers like David Hamilton who was being praised in the 70's for images of naked young girls and realising that what we perceive to be immoral changes in a cyclical manner.
As Lewis Carroll, he wrote the definitive poem about photography. It's a bit long, so see this link:
The link refers to the following section as "Verses added later - when the wet-plate process was less common.":
First, a piece of glass he coated
With collodion, and plunged it
In a bath of lunar caustic
Carefully dissolved in water -
There he left it certain minutes.
Secondly, my Hiawatha
Made with cunning hand a mixture
Of the acid pyrro-gallic,
And of glacial-acetic,
And of alcohol and water
This developed all the picture.
Finally, he fixed each picture
With a saturate solution
Which was made of hyposulphite
Which, again, was made of soda.
(Very difficult the name is
For a metre like the present
But periphrasis has done it.)
I think the "rumors" are too numerous to discount, and the facts pretty darned obvious. I am not particularly interested in his photography anyway (especially as I don't particularly like children and have no qualms about admitting it). I do have a copy of "Through the Looking Glass" on our bed side table however, and think it's something everyone should read once a year, along with "You Can't Go Home Again" and "1984".