One of the problems of writing about photography is the diversity of uses for the medium. The current interpretation of creative photography is different to that of around thirty years ago. Consequently the commercial aspect of Ziegler’s work, once an acceptable vehicle for creative photography, is now viewed as a rather common form of photographic publishing.
There are connections between photographers’ work for Ziegler and their works that are now promoted as creative. Some work for Ziegler, even by respectable photographers, is rather conventional. The freelance work of many regular contributors to Oswald Ziegler Publications would not have been suitable for promotional material. It is best to judge work for Ziegler in the context of the final product. The layout designers were usually more important to the appearance of the book than the photographers.
Excepting the Australian Photography volumes, the illustrative content of each Ziegler publication was linked by the subject whether a single photographer or a number of sources were responsible for the images. Obviously those publications employing a principal photographer had the advantage of a unified vision compared to the multiplicity of viewpoints and styles in those books that did not. The use of photographers known for their creative work as well as their commercial practice reveals that Ziegler’s interest in photography existed before he produced the Australian Photography series.
Ziegler’s interest in photography and design was evidently a sincere endeavour to aestheticise commercial publishing in Australia. Employing photographers to apply their techniques to various regions and corporations, Oswald Ziegler was important as a supporter of local photography in the middle of the century.