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Says Candid Camera Craze Has Made The American Public Picture-Conscious

Photographic Magazine Editor Describes Rapid Rise of New Sport


Probably the greatest effect of the present candid camera craze has been to make the general public picture-conscious, Frank R. Fraprie, editor of "American Photography," declared yesterday at his Boston office.

"The history of photography has been marked by spectacular jumps in popularity, but this miniature camera boom exceeds anything I have seen in my fifty years of experience in photography," he said.

Photography Belongs to Public

The rise of the miniature camera, he continued, has been made possible by the introduction of new apparatus and more highly sensitized materials. Inability of commercial developers to handle these materials in the beginning forced the owners of small cameras to set up their own laboratories.

As a result, photography was popularized, and became the property of the public rather than a science confined to a profession. Amateurs began to have their own squabbles about the relative merits of fine and coarse grain developers.

The interest of the public in candid photography received further impetus when the newspapers became interested in the idea. City editors, desirous of procuring sensational pictures, eagerly accepted the work of amateur candid photographers.

Not a Passing Fad

Of course, Fraprie added, the present craze will not go on indefinitely, but it will not recede as noticeably as have preceding fads. The greater part of those now interested in photography commercially or as a hobby will continue to be so.

"Anyone who has taken the pains to learn the rigorous rules of technique necessary for the mastery of small photography," he observed, "can feel that he is adequately prepared to go into advanced professional work."

The whole process of picture-making, he stated, has received a definite boost in the fields of advertising and news work. Portrait photography alone is still a rather dead field, and consequently, most new men go into commercial lines.

Commercial Painter Safe

To those who feel that the continued rise of advertising photography will eventually blot out the commercial painter Fraprie had this to say: "A famous English artist way back in 1842, when the daguerreotype had just been invented, solemnly declared that in five years painters would be extinct. Well. . . ?"

Naturally, he remarked, the invention had some effect on the painters, but it was only to eliminate the second-raters. The man who has artistic genius need not fear photography.

Painting, Photography Separate Fields

He stressed the fact that photography does not attempt to imitate the work of the painter. Except in one instance, the field of photography confines itself to realistic, rather than interpretative portrayal. That instance is in the case of modernistic photos from unusual angles, which resembles the current Cubist and Surrealist tendencies in art.

"Nobody ever stopped having a portrait done by Sargent," he grinned, "simply because he could get photographs for $75 a dozen."

In closing, Fraprie stated that he felt the present emphasis on stark realism in photography will swing back to something more mixed in character. Photography, he feels, should possess intellectual content as well as realism

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