Photography in the nineteenth century both challenged painters to be true to nature and encouraged them to exploit aspects of the painting medium, like colour, that photography lacked.
This deviation from photographic realism appears in the work of a group of artists who from 1874 to 1886 exhibited together, among them Claude Monet. Realism meant to an Impressionist that the painter ought to record the most subtle sensations of reflected light. In capturing a specific kind of light, this style conveys the notion of a specific and fleeting moment of time. Impressionist painters like Monet and Renoir recorded each sensation of light with a touch of paint in a little stroke like a comma. By applying the paint in tiny strokes allowed Monet, Renoir, or Cassatt to display colour sensations openly, to keep the colours unmixed and intense, and to let the viewer's eye mix the colours. The bright colours and the active participation of the viewer approximated the experience of the natural sunlight.
The Impressionists remained realists in the sense that they remained true to their sensations of the object, although they ignored many of the old conventions for representing the object "out there." But truthfulness for the Impressionists lay in their personal and subjective sensations not in the "exact" reproduction of an object for its own sake. - From the book "Experiencing Art Around Us", by Thomas Buser. This is some of my impressions from Öland, September 2010.
Lake Horn, view from Klosterholmen, Öland Sweden
(Nikon D700, Nikkor PC-E 24mm 3,5 ED, Lee Big Stopper filter, iso 200, tripod)
Möckelmossen, Gynge Naturereserve, Öland, Sweden
(Nikon D700, Nikkor AFS 16-35mm 4,0 VR ED, Lee Big Stopper filter, iso 200, tripod)
Windy Evening, Högenäs Orde, Öland, Sweden
(Nikon D700, Nikkor PC-E 85mm 2,8 micro, Lee Big Stopper filter, iso 200, tripod)