Alfred Horsley Hinton
(b. 1863; d. 1908)
Horsley Hinton’s name does not feature in many books on the history of photography, but just after the First World War J. Dudley Johnston said of him:
“During his brief career – 1889 to 1907 – he was the greatest force operating in the sphere of British photography.”
Hinton was editor of the Amateur Photographer, and a leading member in the formation of the Linked Ring. Some fine exhibition prints of his remain. “Beyond”, shown here, comes from Camera Work, 1905.
Horsley Hinton was a popular judge in pictorial photography at the turn of the century.
An item in the A.P. (January 16, 1902) which is probably attributable to Hinton shows that he was prepared to speak his mind:
“At the Royal Photographic Society there is just now on view a number of Mr. Henry Steven’s photographs which, as specimens of lens definition and what extraordinary care and patience can achieve, are probably unique. What will probably strike the observer most forcibly is the pity that such consummate craftsmanship should be expended on subjects which, we hope, we shall not give offence by calling them puerile. Cats and kittens, gods, and a small number of rabbits, some with and some without bunches of carrots and other vegetables….hardly seem worthy of being a theme of such a veritable tour de force as many a one of Mr. Steven’s prints are; whilst this gentleman’s photographs of greenhouse blooms and ferns, though wonderfully striking, are neither scientific records nor pictorial interpretations. Fine photography they undoubtedly are, if by that term we are to understand an exemplification of what a lens can do in highly skilled and patient hands.”
On February 6th he once again touched upon the poor Mr. Stevens’ photographs, and one can see where his preferences lay. Referring to his exhibition he writes:
“Whilst photographic prints of this class are not, in our opinion, the kind to elevate photography to a higher intellectual or a high artistic level, their attractiveness, and indeed their unique character, cannot be denied.”