F - 64 - straight photography

DEFINITION

An optical term, it is descriptive of a photography movement in San Francisco from 1932 to 1935. It was founded by Ansel Adams and Willard Van Dyke and coined from the aperture setting on the camera lens that provides maximum clarity. Participants including Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Henry Swift, Dorothea Lange, Peter Stackpole and John Paul Edwards were determined to make photography a distinctive technique of straightforward image presentation and to turn away from the "anecdotal pictorial photography of the turn of the century." The inaugural F/64 exhibition was in 1932 at the M.H. De Young Museum in San Francisco, and is credited as being the first museum exhibition in America devoted exclusively to photography. Although the group ceased consciously working together, F/64 has remained very much a part of photography and came to be known as Straight Photography. Sources: "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"; Ron Goulart, "The Encyclopedia of American Comics"

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