As I have indicated this year’s winter-break was a successful one for me photographically, and I wanted to share today my most recent photo-pictorialist study. This one I took back in December and only this week rediscovered it and “worked it up.” The scene itself was much crisper, but it is the addition of atmosphere that creates the mystery and ambiguity of the image. The scene was taken at dusk but the fogginess evokes a sense of dawn instead.
There is an excellent and succinct description of this style and the role played by atmosphere in an image from Alfred Stieglitz. “Atmosphere is the medium through which we see all things. In order, therefore, to see them in their true value on a photograph, as we do in Nature, atmosphere must be there. Atmosphere softens all lines; it graduates the transition from light to shade; it is essential to the reproduction of the sense of distance. That dimness of outline which is characteristic for distant objects is due to atmosphere. Now, what atmosphere is to Nature, tone is to a picture.”