Retouching, staging, and authenticity: early animal photography and the tradition of popular zoological illustration around 1900
Around the turn of the twentieth century, a number of handbooks instructing amateur photographers, nature lovers, and hunters on how to successfully photograph animals were published in Germany. One aim of the authors was to establish photography— which had hitherto been seen mainly as a pastime—as an integral part of the practice of natural history and thus further promote the development of science; for they thought the advantage of the camera was that, contrary to drawings, it produced “objective images”. Yet, despite the fact that these authors continually emphasized the objectivity of photography and its superiority over subjective drawings, they still advised their readers to interfere in the shooting process when photographing wild animals.1 This appears to contradict their ideal of objectivity and lends the resulting photos a hybrid character. According to my argument, this was mainly due to the fact that animal photography followed the visual strategies of animal drawings in order to produce attractive pictures. In the following, I shall analyze the history of those intermedial correlations, which dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, while at the same time reflecting on the inherent contradictions.
Both the animal drawings discussed here and the early photos of wild animals evolved in the context of a popular zoology that was directed at a broad audience but still remained science-based. As Lynn Nyhart has shown, one characteristic of popular zoology in Germany was that its mediators often took a joint—“biological”— perspective focused primarily on the life and the living environment of the animals, in contrast to the taxonomic research pursued by university zoologists.2 Thus, the “biological perspective” also influenced the conceptual design of the images, but it shall not be specifically discussed here.3 Despite the iconic turn, research into the histories of science and of photography until now has hardly shown an interest in images of popular zoology and largely ignored the relation between animal drawings and early animal photography. Even in Great Britain and the US, there are no more than a handful of publications, and these mainly discuss early animal photography in the context of hunting, colonialism, and constructs of masculinity.4
The professionalization of science as well as its popularization developed in parallel throughout the nineteenth century as distinct fields; yet they shared many common roots within the scientific community.5 As early as the latter half of the nineteenth century, countless authors and publishers were kept busy within the popular-science community, which aimed its presentations, book series, and magazines at a broad but predominantly bourgeois public. Biology and especially zoology dominated in this field, far ahead of physics.6 As far as the popular-science book market was concerned, zoology (as opposed to physics and chemistry) benefited from its potential both for lively language and for a visual clarity expressed often in generous illustrations. Optimal use of such potential by Alfred Edmund Brehm (1829-1884) was the motor behind the exceptional (economic) success of his popular-scientific work Illustrirtes Thierleben (Illustrated Animal Life). This first edition was published in six volumes, from 1863 to 1868; the second in ten volumes, from 1876 to 1879, under the new title Brehms Thierleben (in English, Brehm’s Animal Life).7 The books were reissued several times after that and sold in additional small and large editions. Several small and large editions of the books have since been republished and marketed. To this day, Brehms Thierleben ranks among the most popular books on animals in Germany, and many people there have at least heard of it.8
Brehm was a brilliant stylist who strongly anthropomorphized the animal world, thus bringing it closer to his readers.9 In addition, the Thierleben owed its success to the quality and quantity of its illustrations. While in comparable earlier works, the drawings often came across as being static or artificial, in part because they were primarily modeled on stuffed animals, the artists working for Alfred Brehm and his Thierleben preferred to take live animals as models, and they indicated whether their illustrations had been made “true to life” or “true to nature”.10 As only very few of these artists had ever actually been on a wildlife expedition, zoological gardens were their most important places of work.11 The artists were very consistent in hiding the zoo environment in their pictures. Instead, they would set the animals in their “natural surroundings”, or rather, in what they imagined these to be.12 For this reason, the famous German physician Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), in his discussion of the third edition of the Thierleben, pointed to a “certain Error loci” that “becomes disturbingly noticeable in some illustrations” and criticized that
these pictures are decorated with plants from entirely different areas, even different continents, than the [natural] habitats of the depicted animals. ... It is hardly likely that one would find vegetation such as the Ichneumon (Figure 12.1) depicted here, located near the pyramids.
Much as Brehm and his illustrators emphasized the importance of using live animals as models for the Thierleben, they were rather negligent when it came to depicting the animals’ natural habitats, of which they only rarely had first-hand experience. Yet criticism of this practice as voiced by Virchow remained the exception, for the illustrations still set new standards of quality while simultaneously appealing to popular taste.
The leading publications in Germany during the latter half of the nineteenth century were family magazines, however, and Die Gartenlaube (The Gazebo) was the most broadly circulated print medium. The popularization of science had been one of the crucial impulses for its publication and dictated its program even toward the close of the nineteenth century, long after the magazine had taken a national-conservative course.13 Within the natural-science topical spectrum of medicine, geography, and technology, between 1890 and 1905, the second largest number of articles was recorded for zoology—after medicine and before botany. Of zoological contributions in the strict sense, more than three-quarters were illustrated (329 of 427). For comparison, this figure was only at a good quarter for medical articles (135 of 488) and for botanical articles about half (95 of 181).14
Figure 12.1 Gustav Miitzel, Ichneumon [Egyptian mongoose], ca. 1889. Engraving by Karl Jahrmargt. Source: “Die Säugetiere”, in Brehms Tierleben: Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs, vol. 1, ed. Eduard Pechuel-Loesche (Leipzig: Bibliogr. Inst., 3rd ed., 1890).
Basically, the zoological illustrations in Die Gartenlaube do not substantially differ from those in Brehms Thierleben. The woodcuts showing fights between animals in a more or less dramatic style are remarkable, however, and not only because of their presentation but also because of their size. These were full-page or even double-spread illustrations. Without doubt, graphic representations such as these were also highly staged. This is particularly evident in the dramatization of the waves in the drawing shown in the illustration “Sea Eagle Capturing a Pike” (Figure 12.2) by Friedrich Specht (1839-1909).15 For comparison, in modern photographs of hunting sea eagles, one can see how small the waves these birds generate while grasping their prey actually are.
While the illustrators took every liberty to situate animals in whatever scenes they liked, or to dramatize their appearance and so increase the impression of vitality, the first live animals to appear in photographs were usually photographed in static positions and together with assistants who kept them still.16 To the uninitiated viewer, images of taxidermie animals in the wild often looked (and still look) no less lifelike.17 And this practice of photographing taxidermie animals “in the wild” was actually seen time and again, from the mid-nineteenth century onward. Scholars disagree as
Figure 12.2 Friedrich Specht, Sea Eagle Capturing a Pike. Engraving probably by Carl Gottlob Specht. Source: “Seeadler und Hecht”, Die Gartenlaube, no. 51 (1892): 853.
to whether these photographs were meant to simulate living animals in their natural habitats or to be understood rather, as picturesque compositional elements in the context of the Victorian view of nature.18 Yet more lifelike shots of animal were hardly possible until the 1890s, since photographic plates were not yet sensitive enough and the mechanics of camera shutters still too crude to permit the shorter exposure times necessary to produce them. This situation improved only in the 1880s, when so-called dry plates were introduced.
Even then, only a small handful of specialists mastered the technique of “instantaneous”19 photography to an extent such as to produce sharp and striking shots of moving subjects. In Germany, the Prussian Ottomar Anschütz (1846-1907) constructed a precise plane shutter for short exposures that enabled him to take snapshots of military maneuvers and storks. In the mid-1880s, these snapshots quickly made him famous.20
To better influence the outcome when shooting animals in the following years, Anschütz usually heavily intervened in arrangements and sequencing with the result that one can easily see the staging in his photographs. But when he photographed various wild cats in the city zoo in Breslau (now Wroclaw) in the late 1880s, he deliberately tried to avoid this impression. To do so took considerable effort, however.
Anschütz had a 140-m2 compound built and equipped it with painted backdrops and artificially designed foregrounds. Although such props had long been used in portrait photography, Anschütz used them here for a new genre and on a much larger scale.21 Before taking the photo of the two cheetahs (Figure 12.3), he let them go hungry then used “live food” to lure them to a particularly bright spot. In this manner, Anschütz wished to achieve “the greatest possible fidelity to nature and an enhanced effect”.22
In doing so, Anschütz obviously fell back on the same visual strategies as the animal illustrators had used in the design of their work before him. Thus he worked, as they had done, with live animals as models, in spite of the technical difficulties that “instantaneous” photography still presented. Similar to Brehm’s illustrators, he also obscured the zoo environment and placed the animals in what, with the aid of painted backdrops, was purported to be their natural habitat but was in fact a completely artificial setting of his own design. Finally, he manipulated the big cats’ behavior in order to give his photographs—as in the magazine illustrations—a more dramatic touch. Even without concrete proof, we can surely presume that Anschütz was familiar with the popular zoological illustrations in Brehm’s Tierleben or Die Gartenlaube. As mentioned above, these publications were extremely popular.23 Furthermore, Anschütz considered his photographs to be particularly valuable for “use as study material for artists and all art schools”. He thus placed his photographs in the immediate context of artistic representation of animals and the training of the artists who illustrated the popular zoological works. It is therefore no coincidence that his photographs have primarily been preserved in the archives of major European art academies.24 At the same time, and despite the diverse interventions in the imaging
Figure 12.3 Ottomar Anschütz, Group of cheetahs in the Breslau Zoo, 1888. Source: Ottomar Anschütz, “Einige allgemeine Erläuterungen über die Aufnahme wilder Tiere”, Photographische Mitteilungen 25, no. 386 (1889), supplement no. 14.
process, he also suggested that his photographs be used for “the illustration of scientific textbooks, because no human hand is capable of producing such a true image”.25 Anschutz’s claim, which may, from today’s perspective, seem like ignorance or a conscious mockery of the audience, must primarily be considered in relation to hand drawings. This can be seen in the reaction of zoologist Friedrich C. Noll (1832-1893), who emphasized the advantages of Anschiitz’s animal photos by contrasting them with the illustrators’ susceptibility to deceptions and idealizations when depicting animals in motion.26 On the other hand, Noll made no mention at all of the sets designed by Anschiitz. This may be due to the fact that he was rather familiar with the illustrators’ practice of first drawing animals in the zoo and then transferring the results to an imaginary natural setting in the final picture.27
As impressive as Anschiitz’s photos were, their production was still rather laborious; and similar results could be achieved in a much simpler manner with the help of a retoucher, as a publication issued a few years later by the Berlin Zoo shows. According to the then zoo director Ludwig Heck (1860-1951), the success of a reprint of a photo book produced by the London Zoo proved that such pictures, even without specially designed compounds and backdrops, could appeal to and be of use to the general public. He thus initiated publication of the Berlin counterpart.28 Published in 1899 under the title Lebende Bilder aus dem Reiche der Tiere (Living Pictures from the Animal Kingdom), it contained “two hundred snapshots of life” taken by one or several unnamed photographers “in monumental image size”.29
However, only a few photographs in the book showed the animals in full focus and with the requisite plasticity to meet the criteria for scientific photographic illustrations. One can conclude from the captions that long exposure times often prevented better results. Most images were consequently (and more or less heavily) retouched. In many cases, retouching enhanced the photographic image by sharpening contours or erasing unwanted details. In other cases, however, it went far beyond mere correction, aiming instead to conceal the zoo in the pictures so as to show the animals in their “natural” environment. Thus, regarding an illustration of a dromedary and a camel (Figure 12.4), Heck explained that thanks to the retouching of their entire surroundings “both mighty animals” should in fact “appear as impressive ‘ships of the desert’”.30 In its subsequent transformation, the image plainly corresponds to the Thierleben-mediated ideal of incorporating animals’ habitats in their depiction. The many direct references Heck made to Brehm and his Thierleben in his preface and captions likewise support this interpretation. While, in order to highlight the advantages of the photographic process, Heck complained in the preface of the losses incurred on the way “from the eye to the artist’s pen and brush”, he failed to note that the brush—now in the hands of the retoucher—remained indispensable for the design of the photographs, too.31 Existing sources cannot answer the question as to whether the photos were persuasive enough to have even Heck succumb to their appeal or he simply wasn’t interested in questioning this aspect of their production. What we do know is that he paid no attention to the hybrid character of the retouched images.
Heck would not even have had reason to correct this attitude later on, for the “living images” were met with the critics’ appraisal and no one took offense at the retouching: thus, in his review of the book, the well-known popularizer of science Wilhelm Bólsche (1861-1939) praised the first such attempt, in grand style, as being “of the highest, scientific value”. “With these authentic portraits begins a new era of the animal image, before which all of the earlier figurative art, even the very best, is
Figure 12.4 Dromedary and camel, ca. 1896-1899. Source: Ludwig Heck, Lebende Bilder aus dem Reiche der Tiere: Augenblicksaufnahmen nach dem lebenden Tierbestande des Berliner Zoologischen Gartens (Berlin: Werner, 1899), 7.
simply antiquated”.32 Another review even emphasized as positive the fact that the animals had been situated in pictures “mostly with scenery that conforms to the landscape”.33 But precisely this characteristic of the images was anything but new, having been a tradition since the illustrations in Brehms Thierleben.
With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that the hunter and photographer Carl Georg Schillings (1865-1921) caused a sensation in Germany with his photographs of animals roaming free in the wilds of East Africa. Whereas from today’s perspective these photographs seem quite unspectacular,34 audiences back then were quite enthusiastic. People were fascinated to see live animals, although often only at a distance, in their natural environment—and not in front of painted backdrops or in the cages of zoos.35 After his return to Europe in early 1904, Schillings had slides made from many of the exposed plates from his last expedition. He presented these at lectures himself, or made them available to his mentor Ludwig Heck. With these slides, Heck developed a lecture of his own, “Animal Life in the German-East African Wilderness”, which drew record numbers of visitors to the Berlin Urania in 1904 and 1905.36
To emphasize the scientific value of his photographs, Schillings repeatedly maintained that he had refrained from any kind of retouching. He also distanced himself from the allegedly still widespread practice of taking pictures of dead or taxider-mic animals in natural surroundings. He even went as far as to criticize Ottomar Anschutz, whom he thoroughly respected otherwise, for “deceiving the reader”, due to the changing backdrops in the wildcat photographs taken at the Breslau Zoo. Schillings, in the end, did not spare the illustrators his criticism either, holding them, too, partially responsible for the dissemination of many serious misconceptions.3. As evidence of the “absolute documentary fidelity” (absolute dokumentarische Naturt-reue) of his photographs, Schillings adopted Heck’s concept of the “nature document” (Natururkunde). He emphasized the fidelity of the images by presenting them as certified—in the legal sense—depictions of nature. Unlike objectivity, “document fidelity” (to make a noun out of the adjective “urkundtreu”, which was used in the subtitles of Schillings’ two books) did not imply as unbiased a depiction as possible but rather one with quasi-official verification and legal authenticity.39 The concept of a nature document then quickly gained acceptance in popular zoology and soon served to designate natural history photographs with scientific claims.40
The greatest share of Schillings’ success was certainly due to his spectacular night shots of large predatory cats. They also inspired the title of his book Mit Blitzlicht and Biichse, published in 1905. For the night shots, the flash equipment as well as the cameras had been fitted with a mechanism especially developed for this expedition by Martin Kiesling that enabled the animals themselves to trigger the (camera) shutter. In order to attract the big cats to the site, Schillings tied an animal the cats favored as prey to a tree. In going after their “prey”, the big cats triggered the flash and shutter by passing through previously installed tripwires.41 In order to obviate retouching or any other form of hybridization in the production of these images, Schillings had created an elaborate arrangement of technical and natural objects, in itself a kind of hybrid. The arrangement created an entirely artificial lighting situation and repeatedly frightened the animals, and so drew criticism from time to time.42 In addition, Schillings claimed that one photograph (Figure 12.5) showed a “scene of the struggle for existence”, although the tethered bulls and donkeys in the image had had no chance to escape.43 Despite his declared commitment to being “true to nature” and his explicit rejection of any kind of manipulation, Schillings was unable to produce spectacular animal pictures without elaborate staging.
After the Voigtlander publishing company launched Schillings’ book with its over 300 photographs in 1905, multiple reprints and revised editions quickly followed; and even an English translation, one year later.44 The tremendous success of Schillings’ lectures and book sparked an interest in discovering and photographically recording Germany’s own natural heritage, and in producing “nature documents” of Central Europe’s own animal kingdom. Sensing a good business opportunity, the Voigtlander publishing company tried to meet this new demand with appropriate publications but soon faced the problem of finding enough qualified photographers. It therefore repeatedly offered prizes for especially good animal photographs and, in addition, commissioned Martin Kiesling, Schillings’ photography teacher, to write An Instruction Manual for Photographing Wild Animals^
The enthusiasm for natural history photography sparked by Schillings’ success and the prizes offered by the Voigtlander publishing company also prompted Herman Meerwarth (1870-1943) to write Photographic Nature Studies. An Instruction Manual for Amateurs and Naturalists.^ But technical instructions alone were not enough for the natural historian and photographer Meerwarth, who was then an assistant at the Braunschweig Museum of Natural History. Unlike Kiesling, he additionally gave his readers numerous tips on how to influence animal behavior in front of the camera. He suggested, for example, that purposely placing an insect on an anthill would add some extra drama to the shot but at the same time he explicitly stated
Figure 12.5 Carl Georg Schillings, A Scene from the Struggle for Existence (Two Lions Attacking a Tethered Bull), ca. 1903. Source: Carl G. Schillings, Mit Blitzlicht und Büchse: Neue Beobachtungen und Erlebnisse in der Wildnis inmitten der Tierwelt von Äquatorial-Ostafrika, 2nd ed. (Leipzig: Voigtländer, 1905), 291.
that this could be done “without offending the truth of nature”. So Meerwarth was fully aware that such interventions were not unquestionable; yet this fact alone, he felt, was not serious enough to justify doing without some extra drama when creating photographs. In another passage he recommended
freely allowing a bit of “art” to help out ... A few flowers, a few meters from the nest, or, for example, we may want to cut off a blossoming blackberry branch to be artfully placed next to a nest located in a blackberry bush—in so doing, we increase the image value of our photograph, without adding anything unnatural.
His proposal to take still flightless fledglings out of their nest and put them side by side on a previously prepared branch, in order to capture sharp images of their parents feeding them, likewise amounted to a complete photographic staging.4 ' Even though, like Schillings, Meerwarth rejected the idea of retouching or of photographing taxi-dermic animals in the wild, his methods nevertheless included major interventions in the photographic process and so gave the finished image, contrary to his intentions, a hybrid character. For despite the interventions, manipulations, and staging he proposed, Meerwarth was aligned with the ideals of “mechanical objectivity”,48 when he claimed that the “the camera and the plate... would work ‘objectively’ according to physical and chemical laws”, and their images “therefore possess a compelling persuasiveness for their natural fidelity”. The artist could, however, “create only ‘subjectively’ according to his individual assessment”, which is why “the naturalist’s doubts concerning the absolute truth to nature” of these creations would never be completely dispelled.
The obvious contradictions between Meerwarth’s claims to objectivity on the one hand and his photographic practice on the other did not strike any of his reviewers who, instead, consistently praised his book. This is all the more remarkable considering the case of two critics who simultaneously reviewed the German edition of the Kearton brothers’ original English publication of 1903, Wild Nature’s Ways.50 In the first chapter of this book, Richard Kearton (1862-1928) depicted in great detail the various camouflaging techniques developed by him and his brother to allow them to photograph animals without these feeling disturbed and thereupon changing their behavior.51 Meerwarth on the other hand had devoted only a few lines to camouflage of the photographer.
It is, above all, the personal claims of Meerwarth, Schillings, Heck, and Anschütz to absolute truth to nature that lend their photographs a hybrid character, since such claims imply that the camera is an objectifying machinery in itself, at least when it is operated correctly. From today’s perspective, these claims stand in stark contradiction to their staging, retouching, or other manipulations. But even for the photographers themselves, as their vocal criticism following any technical improvement on their predecessors’ technical methods shows, these interventions were not merely a matter of course, tacitly adopted as part of the wildlife photography toolkit. Obviously, they had an idea of a pure photographic process in mind. Therefore, I would argue that the photographers had no interest in resolving this issue, since they wanted neither to renounce their claim to scientific authority in their photography nor to forgo the attention they received from the general public. In this respect they followed the animal illustrators whose core visual design strategies they had adopted. This approach was, in fact, largely successful, since not only did the press and the public often respond enthusiastically, but zoologists who shared the “biological perspective” also regularly emphasized the value of various animal photographs, without criticizing the interventions.52 With the growing number of wildlife photographs, the perception soon began to take hold, within zoology and even beyond those circles, that “all the thousands of images of wild animals in their habitats, of breeding birds, of insects, spiders, aquatic animals ... had fundamentally changed ... views on the lives of these creatures”.53
- 1 See, for example, Martin Kiesling, Anleitung zum Photographieren freilebender Tiere: Mit einem Anhang von Dr. A. Voigt (Leipzig: Voigtländer, 1905); Hermann Meerwarth, Photographische Naturstudien: Eine Anleitung für Amateure und Naturfreunde (Eßlingen: Schreiber, 1905); and Rudolf Zimmermann, Die Naturphotographie: Eine kurzgefaßte Anleitung zur Pflanzen- und Tierphotographie (Stuttgart: Strecker &c Schröder, 1909). Only Georg E.F. Schulz, in his Anleitung zu photographischen Naturaufnahmen für mittlere und reife Schüler (Leipzig: Teubner, 1911), refrained more or less from any intervention.
- 2 Lynn K. Nyhart, Modern Nature: The Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009).
- 3 For a more in-depth discussion see Alexander Gall, “Lebende Tiere und inszenierte Natur: Zeichnung und Fotografie in der populären Zoologie zwischen 1860 und 1910”, NTM
Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 25, no. 2 (2017): 169-209.
See, for example, James R. Ryan, Picturing Empire: Photography and the Visualization of the British Empire (London: Reaktion Books, 1997), 99-139; Finis Dunaway, “Hunting with the Camera: Nature Photography, Manliness, and Modern Memory, 1890-1930”, Journal of American Studies 34, no. 2 (2000): 207-230; and Matthew Brower, Developing Animals: Wildlife and Early American Photography (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), 25-82.
See Sybilla Nikolow and Arne Schirrmacher, “Das Verhältnis von Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit als Beziehungsgeschichte: Historiographische und systematische Perspektiven”, in Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit als Ressourcen füreinander: Studien zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte im 20. Jahrhundert, eds. Sybilla Nikolow and Arne Schirrmacher (Frankfurt: Campus, 2007), 11-36.
See, for example, Andreas W. Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung im 19. Jahrhundert: Bürgerliche Kultur, naturwissenschaftliche Bildung und die deutsche Öffentlichkeit, 1848-1914, 2nd ed. (Munich: Oldenbourg 2002), 431-432; and Angela Schwarz, Der Schlüssel zur modernen Welt: Wissenschaftspopularisierung in Großbritannien und Deutschland im Übergang zur Moderne (ca. 1870-1914) (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1999), 117. For Great Britain, see Bernard V. Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science: Designing Nature for New Audiences (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007).
Alfred E. Brehm, Illustrirtes Thierleben: Eine allgemeine Kunde des Thierreichs, 6 vols. (Hildburghausen: Bibliographisches Institut, 1864-1869); Alfred E. Brehm, Brehms Thierleben: Allgemeine Kunde des Thierreichs, 10 vols. (Leipzig: Bibliographisches Institut, 1876-1879); for Brehm’s biography see Hans-Dietrich Haemmerlein, Alfred Edmund Brehm: Biografie in Zeit- und Selbstzeugnissen (Markkleeberg: Sax, 2015).
See, for example, Hanna Zeckau and Carsten Aermes, Brehms verlorenes Tierleben: Illustriertes Lexikon der ausgestorbenen Vögel und Säugetiere, 2nd ed. (Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins, 2008).
See Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung im 19. Jahrhundert, 258; and Sebastian Schmideler, “Das Leben der Vögel (1861): Zur Anthropomorphisierung bei Tiervater Alfred Brehm (1829-1884)”, Kodikas/Code - Ars Semeiotica 28, no. 3/4 (2005): 345-378.
See Hans-Jörg Wilke, “Abbildungen in Brehms Tierleben: Ein Beitrag zur populären Tierillustration in Deutschland”, Aus dem Leben der Familie Brehm: Mitteilungen des Förderkreises Brehm e.V., no. 31 (2015): 40-58.
See Julia Voss, “Zoologische Gärten, Tiermaler und die Wissenschaft vom Tier im 19. Jahrhundert”, in Stätten biologischer Forschung I Places of Biological Research, eds. Christiane Groeben, Joachim Kaasch and Michael Kaasch (Berlin: VWB, 2005), 227-243. See Alexander Gall, “Authentizität, Dramatik und der Erfolg der populären zoologischen Illustration im 19. Jahrhundert: Brehms Thierleben und die Gartenlaube”, in Inszenierte Wissenschaft: Zur Popularisierung von Wissen im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Stefanie Samida (Bielefeld: transcript, 2011), 105-111; and Gall, “Lebende Tiere und inszenierte Natur”, 173-182.
See Andreas Graf and Susanne Pellatz, “Familien- und Unterhaltungszeitschriften”, in Geschichte des deutschen Buchhandels im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Das Kaiserreich 1871-1918, part 2, ed. Georg Jäger (Frankfurt am Main: Buchhändler-Vereinigung, 2003), 409-522; Werner Faulstich, Medienwandel im Industrie- und Massenzeitalter (1830-1900) (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004), 65-74; and Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung im 19. Jahrhundert, 335-342.
See Gall, “Lebende Tiere und inszenierte Natur”, 182-183.
“Seeadler und Hecht”, Die Gartenlaube, no. 51 (1892): 853.
See Ulrich Pohlmann and Johann G.P. von Hohenzollern, eds., Eine neue Kunst? Eine andere Natur! Fotografie und Malerei im 19. Jahrhundert (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 2004), 99-115.
See Hans-Jürgen Lechtreck, “Fotografie und Tierpräparation komplementär: Anmerkungen zur gemeinsamen Geschichte zweier zoologischer Aufzeichnungsmedien des 19. Jahrhunderts”, in Nützlich, süß und museal: Das fotografierte Tier: Essays, eds. Ute Es-kildsen and Hans-Jürgen Lechtreck (Göttingen: Museum Folkwang, Steidl, 2005), 71.
See Ryan, Picturing Empire, 114-117; Lechtreck, "Fotografie und Tierpräparation komplementär”, 78-80; U. C. Knoepfelmacher and G. B. Tennyson, “Introduction”, Nature and the Victorian Imagination, eds. U. C. Knoepfelmacher and G. B. Tennyson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977), xxi; Charles Millard, “Images of Nature: A Photo-Essay”, in Nature and the Victorian Imagination, eds. U. C. Knoepfelmacher and G. B. Tennyson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977), 25; and Brower, Developing Animals, 1-24.
The German expression was “Moment-” or “Augenblicks-Photograpie”.
See Deac Rossell, Faszination der Bewegung: Ottomar Anschütz zwischen Photographie und Kino (Basel: Stroemfeld, 2001), 16-28; these photographs were the direct inspiration for Otto Lilienthal’s early aviation experiments.
See Jean Sagne, “Porträts aller Art: Die Entwicklung des Fotoateliers”, in Neue Geschichte der Fotografie, ed. Michel Frizot (Cologne: Könemann, 1998), 107-109; and Anja Herrmann, “Imaginäre Flaneriem Das Fotoatelier als Ort der Moderne”, Rundbrief Fotografie 21, no. 3(2014): 33-34.
Ottomar Anschütz, “Einige allgemeine Erläuterungen über die Aufnahme wilder Tiere”, Photographische Mitteilungen 25, no. 386 (1889): 307-308, Beilage no. 14.
The Gartenlaube also reported on Anschütz’s animal photographs; see Gustav van Muyden, “Zwei gelungene Porträts”, Die Gartenlaube, no. 18 (1887): 297.
See Ulrich Pohlmann, “Tierstudien”, in Pohlmann and Hohenzollern, Eine neue Kunst?, 102. The most comprehensive collection, with around 1,300 photographs, is probably that of the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin.
Anschütz, “Einige allgemeine Erläuterungen”, 307.
See Friedrich C. Noll, “Photographie und Zoologie”, Der Zoologische Garten 30 (1889): 136.
See Friedrich C. Noll, “[Besprechung:] Die Säugetiere in Wort und Bild, von Carl Vogt und F. Specht”, Der Zoologische Garten 25 (1884): 369: Noll explained the heyday of German animal illustration by studying live animals at the zoos, which, however, only rarely appeared on the figures of the book under his review.
See Charles J. Cornish, Life at the Zoo: Notes and Traditions of the Regent’s Park Gardens, 4th ed. (London: Seeley, 1896); and F. Schütt, “Vereinsnachrichten: Freie photographische Vereinigung zu Berlin”, Photographische Rundschau 9, no. 4 (1895): 1-2. “Advertisement of Werner Publishing House”, Börsenblatt für den deutschen Buchhandel, no. 281 (December 4, 1899): 9304.
Ludwig Heck, Lebende Bilder aus dem Reiche der Tiere: Augenblicksaufnahmen nach dem lebenden Tierbestande des Berliner Zoologischen Gartens (Berlin: Werner, 1899), 8. The picture of a mouflon family (p. 31) shows similar retouches and a similar caption. Ibid., 3-4, 72, 156.
Wilhelm Bölsche, “Lebende Tiere”, Mutter Erde, no. 3 (1900): 150.
“Bücherschau: Lebende Bilder aus dem Reiche der Tiere”, Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration 5 (1899): 242.
Gissibl even speaks of “Schillings’ at times quite poor animal photographs”; see Bernhard Gissibl, “Exotische ‘Natururkunden’: Tierfotografie im Kontext des deutschen Kolonialismus”, in Eskildsen and Lechtreck, Nützlich, süß und museal, 62.
For the further causes of Schillings’ success, see Bernhard Gissibl, The Nature of German Imperialism: Conservation and the Politics of Wildlife in Colonial East Africa (New York: Berghahn, 2016), 270-278.
See Denkschrift zum 25jährigen Bestehen der Gesellschaft Urania in Berlin (1888-1913) (Berlin: Büxenstein, 1913), 37, 45.
Carl G. Schillings, Mit Blitzlicht und Büchse: Neue Beobachtungen und Erlebnisse in der Wildnis inmitten der Tierwelt von Äquatorial-Ostafrika. Mit 302 urkundtreu in Autotypie wiedergegebenen photographischen Original-Tag- und Nacht-Aufnahmen des Verfassers, 2nd ed. (Leipzig: Voigtländer, 1905), 18.
Ibid., 4, x; see also Carl G. Schillings, Der Zauber des Elelescho. Mit 318 Abbildungen, meist photographischen Original-Tag- und Nachtaufnahmen des Verfassers, urkundtreu in Autotypie wiedergegeben (Leipzig: Voigtländer, 1906), xiii.
See "Urkunde” in Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, vol. 19, 6th ed. (Leipzig and Wien: Bibliographisches Institut, 1909), 962. I disagree with Gissibl ("Exotische ‘Natururkunden’”, 65-66; and The Nature of German Imperialism, 274), who associates the concept of “Natururkunde” (nature document) with that of "Naturdenkmal” (natural monument) and concludes that Schillings’ photographs should document “the presence of a fauna that was already consigned to the past”.
See Georg E.F. Schulz, Natur-Urkunden: Biologisch erläuterte photographische Aufnahmen frei lebender Tiere und Pflanzen, 8 vols. (Berlin: Parey, 1908/1909).
See Kiesling, Anleitung zum Photographieren freilebender Tiere, 68-71.
See Richard Neuhauss, “Nächtliche Blitzlicht-Tieraufnahmen”, Photographische Rundschau 21 (1907): 62; and Walter Köhler, “Photographie und biologische Forschung”, Deutscher Kamera-Almanach 5 (1909): 181.
Schillings, Mit Blitzlicht und Büchse, 291.
Carl G. Schillings, With Flashlight and Rifle: A Record of Hunting Adventures and of Studies in Wild Life in Equatorial East Africa, trans. F. Whyte (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1906).
Kiesling, Anleitung zum Photographieren freilebender Tiere.
Meerwarth’s Photographische Naturstudien was partially based on Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore’s Camera and Countryside: How to Photograph Live Birds and Their Nests; Animals Wild and Tame; Reptiles; Insects; Fish and Other Aquatic Forms; Flowers Trees and Fungi (London: William Heinemann, 1903).
Meerwarth, Photographische Naturstudien, 54, 82, 90-91. On this confusing concept see Christian Janecke, “‘Inszenierte Fotografie,’ ‘Inszenierende Fotografie’ und ‘Fotografierte Inszenierung’ - am Beispiel von Schauanordnungen für lebende und tote Tiere”, in Die fotografische Wirklichkeit: Inszenierung - Fiktion - Narration, ed. Lars Blunck (Bielefeld: transcript, 2010), 53-70.
Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity (New York: Zone Books, 2007), 115-190. “Die Camera und die Platte arbeiten nach physikalischen und chemischen Gesetzen ‘objektiv,’ ihre Bilder haben deshalb eine zwingende Überzeugungskraft für ihre Naturtreue. Der Künstler dagegen kann nur ‘subjektiv’ nach individueller Veranlagung schaffen, er muß es sogar und kann deshalb eben des Naturforschers Zweifel an der absoluten Naturwahrheit seiner Schöpfungen nie ganz beheben”. Meerwarth, Photographische Naturstudien, 1.
See Reinhold v. Haustein, "R. Keartom Tierleben in freier Natur. H. Meerwarth: Photographische Naturstudien”, Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau 21 (1906): 181-183; and G. Brandes, “Literatur-Besprechung: Tierleben in freier Natur von Cherry und Richard Kearton; Photographische Naturstudien von Hermann Meerwarth”, Zeitschrift für Naturwissenschaften 77 (1904): 476-478.
See Richard Kearton and Cherry Kearton, Tierleben in freier Natur: Photographische Aufnahmen frei lebender Tiere (Halle an der Saale: Knapp, 1905), 1-57. The English original was published in 1903 with the title Wild Nature Ways (London: Cassell). On the criticism of camouflage from the perspective of animal studies see Brower, Developing Animals, 83—133.
On Anschütz, see Noll, “Photographie und Zoologie”, 135-139. On Heck and Schillings, see Oskar Boettger, “Dr. L. Heck, Lebende Bilder aus dem Reiche der Tiere”, Der Zoologische Garten 41 (1900): 188; and Oskar Boettger, “C. G. Schillings, Mit Blitzlicht und Büchse: Neue Beobachtungen und Erlebnisse in der Wildnis inmitten der Tierwelt von Äquatorial-Ostafrika”, Der Zoologische Garten 46 (1905): 89-91. On Meerwarth, see Paul Cahn, “H. Meerwarth, Photographischen Naturstudien: Eine Anleitung für Amateure und Naturfreunde”, Zoologischer Beobachter/Der zoologische Garten 47 (1906): 158-159.
Benno Wandolleck, “Zoologie und Physiologie”, in Angewandte Photographie in Wissenschaft und Technik in vier Teilen, vol. 2, ed. Karl W. Wolf-Czapek (Berlin: Ünion Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1911), 49.
13 “Offering pleasures to the eye”