As one of the first men to devote his life and creative energy to photography, Frank Sutcliffe moved away from the confines of Victorian photographic conventions, which were based on artifice, and set himself the task of photographing the people and the countryside that he saw around him in as truthful and straightforward a manner as his equipment would allow. Although it was not in his character to publicise his own success, he was hailed by his contemporaries as one of the most original and outstanding photographers of his day. Despite his rarely leaving Whitby, Sutcliffe's work was known, exhibited and copied all over the world. Michael Hiley has traced Sutcliffe's writings on photography, many of which are to be found only in newspaper archives and specialist photographic libraries. They reveal details of how Sutcliffe went about his work as a photographer and his opinions on every subject from the artistic potential of photography to the art of handling recalcitrant babies in the studio, providing a unique insight into the attitudes and preoccupations of a photographer in the late Victorian period.
As the son of a painter, Sutcliffe was aware both of the unique qualities of photography and of the debt it owed to painting. The years of his greatest success were years of unprecedented upheaval in both painting and photography, and this book sets out to establish the relationship between Sutcliffe's work and that of the leading photographers and painters of his time. This new edition updates a classic collection of the best of Sutcliffe's work - pictures taken for his own pleasure from family albums, exhibition photographs which won prizes all over the world, examples of his work as a professional portrait photographer, and snapshots produced for Kodak, which reveal a second burst of creative activity late in his career.