[This post is to elabborate on the terms used in the next post Photography: An Art" ]
[III] Group f/64
It was a group of photographers espousing a common philosophy. The group was created in 1932 ... with photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and others ... The group devoted to exhibiting and promoting a new direction in photography that broke with the Pictorialism then prevalent in West Coast art photography.
The term f/64 refers to the smallest aperture setting available on large format camera, which secures maximum depth of field, rendering a photograph evenly sharp from foreground to background. It signaled the group's conviction that photographs should celebrate rather than disguise the medium's unrivaled capacity to present the world "as it is."
As Edward Weston phrased it, "The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh."
A corollary of this idea was that the camera was able to see the world more clearly than the human eye, because it didn't project personal prejudices onto the subject. The group's effort to present the camera's "vision" as clearly as possible included:
- advocating the use of aperture f/64 in order to provide the greatest depth of field, thus allowing for the largest percentage of the picture to be in sharp focus;
- contact printing, a method of making prints by placing photographic paper directly in contact with the negative, instead of using an enlarger to project the negative image onto paper;
- and glossy papers instead of matte or artist papers, the surfaces of which tended to disperse the contours of objects.
Such methods transformed the role of the artist from printmaker to selector: it was the photographer's choice of form and his or her framing of it that made the picture. The use of a view camera enabled the photographer to preview his scene on the ground glass (a flat pane of glass on the camera that reflected the scene from the point of view of the lens), the view camera's equivalent of the viewfinder in the 35mm single-lens reflex camera, before he snapped the shutter and developed the print, and the extensive employment of this device was a hallmark of Group f/64 ..
Weston dubbed its effective use "previsualization".
Group f/64 photographers concentrated on landscape photography—notable examples include Ansel Adams' Winter Yosemite Valley and Weston's Dunes, Oceano or close-up images of items from the natural environment, such as plants and pieces of wood, subjects that highlighted the photographer's creative intuition and ability to create aesthetic order out of nature's chaos.
Such a small aperture implies a long exposure and the selection of relatively slow moving or motionless subject matter, such as landscapes and still life over action and reportage photography.
This corresponds to the ideal of straight photography which the group espoused in response to the pictorialist methods that were in fashion at the time.
Members of Group f/64 ...
Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, John Paul Edwards, Preston Holder, Consuelo Kanaga, Alma Lavenson, Sonya Noskowiak, Henry Swift, Willard Van Dyke, Brett Weston, and Edward Weston ...
Photo Secession ...
Also known as New York Camera Club ... or
291 Fifth Avenue ... later just 291 ...
The Photo-Secession movement was a group of photographers led by Alfred Stieglitz in the early 1900s that helped to raise standards and awareness of art photography.
In 1902 Stieglitz formed an invitation-only group, which he called the Photo-Secession, to force the art world to recognize photography "as a distinctive medium of individual expression."
Photo-secessionists thought that the strength of a medium was found in its purity, hence straight photography. Images were not manipulated in the darkroom, aside from cropping. Content of the images often referred to previous work done by other artists, especially Greek and Roman art. Images often contained stylistic consistency such as dramatic lighting, perspective, geometric, monochrome/black and white, and high contrast
members of Photo Secessions: Edward Steichen, Gertrude Kasebier, Clarence White and Alvin Langdon Coburn. Photo-Secession held its own exhibitions and became the publisher of the journal, Camera Work. The group also operated the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession.
The pictorialist style argued that art photography needed to emulate the painting and etching of the time. Pictorialist images were black & white or sepia-toned. Among the methods used were soft focus, special filters and lens coatings, heavy manipulation in the darkroom, and exotic printing processes.
"Group f/64", click here ...
"Photo secession Movement", click here ...