f/64 group

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Edward Weston (1886—1958)

Ansel Adams (1902—1984) American photographer

Imogen Cunningham (1883—1976)


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An informal association of California photographers dedicated to sharp-focus imagery printed with technical perfection. Founded in 1932, the group rejected the lingering pictorialist aesthetic that remained popular among art photographers. Members particularly favored nature subjects, often seen in extremely close views that emphasize abstract form. Coalescing around Edward Weston as its leading spirit, the group's founders included also Ansel Adams, who came up with the group's name, Imogen Cunningham, John Paul Edwards (1883–1958), and Henry Swift (1891–1960), as well as Sonya Noskowiak (1900–1975), a Weston student and his companion at the time, and Willard Van Dyke (1906–86), also a Weston student, later known as a documentary filmmaker. Although the group disbanded after three years, its influence continued in an important strain of American straight photography. The group's most important show, at San Francisco's de Young Museum in 1932, included the work of the seven charter members, along with invited photographers Preston Holder (1907–80), Consuelo Kanaga (1894–1978), Alma Lavenson (1897–1989), and Brett Weston. The organization's name indicates the smallest aperture possible on the 8 × 10-inch view cameras that its members preferred. This setting produced sharp detail in large negatives that were printed, usually on glossy paper, without enlargement. The group generally took a purist approach to their medium, disdaining any influence from other visual arts as interfering with honest photographic vision.

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