I'm a firm believer that boys fall into one of three catagories. They either are ball, block or car / trunk boys. They can be one or the other seldom both.
Ball boys, like to catch, throw, hit or bounce balls. Secondly, there is the block boy who likes to stack, configure shapes and build structures. And finally there is the car / trunk boy. This boy likes wheels, the faster they turn the better. Power, energy, locomotion, ,,. The noisier the better. Car boys can favor boats and trains, but again it is about the power and motion that motivates. Now this is just an uneducated observation. Vroom.
When photography was young and infant it was liken to impressionist painting. The art photography of 1885 was known as pictorialism or the photographer was a pictorialist.
Because of the characteristic dry plate process the focus was soft of detail and illustrative. This was achieved by filters, lens coatings , darkroom manipulation and elaborate printing processes. Later rough paper surfaces were introduced to further breakup the focus grain, rendering an even softer results. All to enhance the personal artistic expression.
The photographer, Alfred Stieglitz's publication "Camera Works" 1903 - 1917 was dedicated to showcasing such works.