courtesy of Bill_Cross
This was the era of gentlemanly amateurism; men of privilege spent as much study and effort on their recreation as they did on professions. … The camera at that time was still widely considered mainly as a fairly useful tool; photography was often thought of as a science closely related to chemistry. Although some artists used photographs as a basis for painting…especially portraitists, who found it more convenient to work from a photograph than from a live model…photography was generally considered too impersonal and mechanical to be regarded as an actual art form. Only a few photographers, Oscar G. Rejlander and Henry Peach Robinson for example, were attempting to use photography to create art. For the most part, they created very formally posed tableaux that imitated the classic styles of painting.