The Family of Man


Scalar Post 3 due on Monday, April 26
Visualizing Photo History Projects
due on Monday, May 3

Zoom with artist Elizabeth Colomba
Wednesday, April 2
1, 2021 @ 6 PM

Extra Credit Assignment posted on Canvas











Ansel Adams, Thunderstorm, Yosemite, 1945.











Ansel Adams near Half Dome in Yosemite Valley











Weston with view camera, 1937

view from a view camera
View camera












Group f/64 approach:
  • Sought greatest depth of field with smallest lens aperture
  • Sharp focus
  • Close-up views
  • Large-view format camera
  • Contact prints instead of enlarging
Ansel Adams, Rose on Driftwood, 1933.











Edward Weston, Excusado, 1925.


Weston described this photo as revealing "the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself"











Edward Weston, Nude, 1936.










"I could wait no longer to print them - my new peppers, so I put aside several orders, and yesterday afternoon had an exciting time with seven new negatives.

First I printed my favorite, the one made last Saturday, just as the light was failing - quickly made, but with a week's previous effort back of my immediate, unhesitating decision. A week?  Yes, on this certain pepper, but twenty-eight years of effort, starting with a youth on a farm in Michigan, armed with a no. 2 Bull's Eye [Kodak] have gone into the making of this pepper, which I consider a peak of acheivement.

It is a classic, completely satisfying - a pepper - but more than a pepper: abstract, in that it is completely outside subject matter... this new pepper takes one beyond the world we know in the conscious mind."

- Edward Weston from his Daybook 1930

Edward Weston, Pepper #30, 1930.











Zone System = aide for determining correct exposure and development times
11 different zones
Zone O = maximum black
Zone X = pure white
Imogen Cunningham, The Unmade Bed, 1957.











Ansel Adams, Grand Canyon from South Rim, 1941.











Ansel Adams, Snow Covered Mountains, 1940s.











"To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event." - Henri Cartier Bresson
The Decisive Moment = that instant when the formal spatial relationships of the subjects reveal their essential meaning
  • The moment that expresses the essence of a situation
  • The instant that real life becomes artful
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Behind the Gare St. Lazare, Paris, 1932.











Life Magazine
1936 - 2007

Life Magazine- first cover

Wanted to publish new magazine that would:
  • Tell newsworthy stories
  • Promote mainstream American values
  • Was a pleasure to look at
  • Eloquently combined pictures and text to convey its messages
Margaret Bourke-White, Fort Peck Dam, Montana, First issue of Life magazine, November 23, 1936.











Margaret Bourke-White, Louisville Flood Victims, 1937.
Harold Edgerton, Milk Drop Coronet, 1957.











Life Magazine aimed to humanize politics through photography
  • Vivid images that spontaneously captured poignant moments
  • Large-size format
  • Printed on coated stock for a glossy sheen











Photojournalism = particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story

Oscar Graubner, Margaret Bourke-White atop the Chrysler Building, c. 1930.
Margaret Bourke-White, Chrysler Building, 1931.



















Historic Context
1929 - 1941
Great Depression
Hitler's Nazi Party seizes power - end of the German Weimar Republic

German troops stand at attention
during Nuremburg Rally in 1935

New Deal begins - program of government spending to end the Great Depression
MOMA holds first exhibiton considering the history of photography organized by the museum's librarian, Beaumont Newhall.
Walker Evans is first photographer to be given a solo show at MOMA
1939 - 1945
World War II

German Bombers during Battle of Britain

MOMA establishes first department of photography at a major museum and the museum's librarian, Beaumont Newhall becomes the new department's first director
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.











Normandy Invasion

Robert Capa, Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944.


"If your pictures aren't good enough you're not close enough" - Robert Capa