Photography is just what we make it, a fine art or a mechanical art, all depending upon the photographer himself. A man can not produce a thing which is greater than himself, but it is a very easy matter for him to fall short of his capabilities.

The true artist has never produced his best work for he always has something better in mind, and it is this work of the mind that gives scope to genius. The humble stone cutter may produce a work of art because he has mechanical skill, but he does not create it. He faithfully reproduces the work of another, and the result is mechanical art.

We must have our minds trained to understand and appreciate art before we can create it, and many of us are sadly lacking in this training. We are too busy with the commercial or mechanical, and lose sight of the fact that there are those who appreciate and are willing to pay for artistic pictures - pictures that are the result of thought, plus hard work.

Helmar Lerski was born in Switzerland and came to this country from Germany fifteen years ago as an actor. Two years ago he gave up his chosen profession for that of photography - artistic photography. He understood art for he was brought up in a country where whole families take their lunches and spend a day in the Art Galleries or at Musical Concerts where only music of the classical sort is heard, and appreciation of things artistic is a natural consequence.

Probably the training of the actor has also been of help to this man in his work, but whatever it may be that has helped, the genius of the man shows itself in his work.

Two years is a short time for a man to take up a new line of work and make a success of it, but Helmar Lerski has not only made a success of his business - his pictures exhibited at the recent Philadelphia Convention received very favorable criticism at the hands of Mr. Hartmann, who was engaged by the Association for public and private criticisms, and were selected by him as one of the ten exhibits which in his opinion represented the best work shown at the convention .

We have many good photographers in this country, and there is a diversity of opinion regarding the respective merits of convention exhibits, but the work of Mr. Lerski is strong in character and shows an originality that reflects the strong character and versatility of the man himself. It is deserving of much praise and we are pleased to show our readers examples of Mr. Lerski's work in this issue of Studio Light.

From An Artura Iris Print By Helmar Lerski Milwaukee, Wis.

From An Artura Iris Print By Helmar Lerski Milwaukee, Wis.