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Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=12785)

The correct answer choice is (B)

As described above, the author’s main point is that the amateurish qualities of Cameron’s photographs, when combined with her artistic vision, give her fancy-subject pictures charm and vitality, making them peculiar treasures of Victorian era photography.

Answer choice (A): While this statement is consistent with the passage, it is not the main point. Instead, it captures just the portion of the passage that casts Cameron in a negative light. Remember that the author of an LSAT Reading Comprehension passage will never have as his or her main point something that is negative toward an underrepresented group, in this case a female, Victorian-era photographer.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice because it presents the author’s main point, consistent with our prephrase.

Answer choice (C): Here, the answer choice is incorrect because the author made no reference to an “implicit claim” in Cameron’s work that would hold out her pictures as proper for comparison with the masterpieces of Western painting. Further, the obtrusiveness of the sitters, which the author referred to as the “truth of the sitting,” did not undermine Cameron’s work, but rather elevated its value.

Answer choice (D): This statement is the opposite of the author’s view. In fact, the author explicitly distinguished Cameron’s work from that of Rejlander (lines 16-19), which the author labeled “extravagantly awful” precisely because it was a seamless work of illustrative art.

Answer choice (E): Again, this answer choice is inconsistent with the author’s view, which was that the combination of the “truth of the sitting” and the narrative quality of Cameron’s photographs made them treasures.
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For this question I was choosing between answer choice B and E. I understand why B is correct but can you explain why E is not correct?

Thank you,

 Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi Emily,

E can definitely be a tempting answer choice on this one. The reason for eliminating it here is that the imaginary scenes are not irrelevant; rather, those scenes combined with what we learn about the sitters is what gives the photos their meaning. Both the scenes and the attitudes of the sitters combine together to create an interesting contrast. Recognizing that contrast is what B does that E doesn't. Remember, we're looking for the best answer here, so even if E seems tempting, you should be able to look for what B does that E doesn't and identify B as superior.
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Could you possibly give the lines that show choice E is contradictory to the author's pov?
Thank you!
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appletree wrote:Hello,
Could you possibly give the lines that show choice E is contradictory to the author's pov?
Thank you!
I'll try answering because I also picked E. E is tempting because the passage says:

It is the truth of the sitting, rather than the fiction which all the dressing up was in aid of, that wafts out of these wonderful and strange, not-quite-in-focus photographs.
But E says that the imaginary scenes do NOT contribute to what makes the fancy-subject pictures interesting. But this contradicts the passage which says:

When we look at a narrative painting we can suspend our disbelief; when we look at a narrative photograph we cannot. We are always aware of the photograph’s doubleness—of each figure’s imaginary and real personas.
It is this constant awareness of two things, the realistic portrayal of a subject and the imaginary scene the subject is trying to portray, that gives Cameron's subjects their interest. It would be like a movie that attempts to transport you to an fantasy world but you see things like the camera caught in a reflection or a mundane object like a coffee cup someone carelessly left on set. That jarring combination makes it comical and therefore interesting. At least, that's the author's main point.
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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Great work there sdb!

I agree that answer choice (E) can be tempting, but the key idea in this passage is the duality of the pictures, the joining of amature and artistry, as the author says in that final paragraph. Without the combination of the two, we aren't capturing the overall main point of the passage.

I'd also like to give a quick caution to you, appletree. Often, incorrect main point answers aren't going to be contradictory to the passage, but just not the main point. For a main point to be correct, it needs two attributes. 1) It needs to be true based on the passage. and 2) it needs to be the main point of the passage. You will often find answer choices that meet requirement 1 but not 2. They are still incorrect for MP answer choices.

Hope that helps!

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