Nick Brandt

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

“During photography’s early days in the mid-nineteenth century, the photographic portrait was often expected to convey a certain neutrality. Long exposure times required stillness, while the prevalent study of physiognomy, in which facial features were believed to reveal character traits, made some think that visible emotion would undermine the accuracy of a portrait’s static likeness. But with technological advances in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some photographers began experimenting with pathognomic portraits—photographs that were meant to capture an individual’s particular expressions, with the implication that emotional expression might better convey the character, personality, or essence of a subject.” Lucy McKeon • New York Review of Books