[Review in Cornishman] 'PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE MAGIC LANTERN' being the title of a popular Lecture by Barnett: 'Mr A K Barnett's lecture on photography, on Monday evening at the Penzance Institute was well attended, and enjoyed by all present.
'The lecturer first traced, the historic development of the art from the time when the crude negatives were framed on account of sensitized paper not having then been invented. Some most excellent illustrations of the perfection to which the "black art" has been brought were afforded by numerous photographs of outdoor scenes and figure studies hung on the walls, the work of the lecturer, who is an enthusiastic amateur. Mr Barnett then photographed one of the audience, and developed the picture, but owing to the rapidity of the manipulation it was not as great a success as he wished.
'The most interesting part of the lecture was that illustrated by magic-lantern photos thrown on a screen. These were brought out most distinctly, and many were scenes familiar to those present. For the sake of contrast Mr Barnett threw a couple of pictures of the old cast-iron attitude stamp upon the curtain. The subjects with crossed legs and arms bent in triangular shape, looked more like wooden blocks than human beings. The lecturer said it was a custom for the amateur photographer to include his friend with a silk hat and walking stick in the picture of some delightful sylvan scene, thereby ruining the entire effect. Only the most rustic figures should be included. He then showed the opposite to the foregoing pictures, in the shape of a group of children with a lovely rural background, the attitudes being most natural. Some instantaneous pictures were effectively reproduced and the lecturer showed how these were sometimes not the most artistic and natural to our eyes because the minute emotions are caught by the camera in a hundredth part of a second, whereas the eye can, only catch the general effect in a longer space of time. He deprecated the use of photography, which brought the art into disrepute, by unskilled men bringing out the feet larger than the balance of an individual's body by bad posturing. The lecture closed with a hearty vote-of-thanks, proposed by Mr George B Millett.'
Cornishman 21 Nov 1889
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (pp306-7)