Weston Photography | Focusing In - The Photographer, 1948

The Photographer is a documentary made by Willard Van Dyke in 1948 on Edward Weston. This wonderful short film shows the day in the life of the great American photographer and how he used to spend his time. A good amount of the footage was taken at Wildcat Hill and Point Lobos. Please take a moment to watch this old classic film and be transported back in history. 

Willard Van Dyke

Willard Van Dyke was an integral part of the evolution of both still photography and filmmaking. In 1932, he hosted the founding meeting of f.64, a group of photographers connected by a common belief in the superiority of “straight,” unmanipulated photography over the pictorialist fashion of the day. f.64 members, including Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, used large cameras to make long exposures through small apertures (hence the name “f.64”), producing negatives of great detail and clarity. Van Dyke authored much of the group’s philosophy, coining the phrase “pure photography.”

Willard apprenticed with Edward Weston, and in 1933 traveled with Weston and others to New Mexico on a photography expedition. His early photographs are typically details from industry or nature, emphasizing form, shadow, and negative space. They are graphically bold, as in his architectural series of abandoned buildings. Believing that both photography and film could change the world, he soon shifted toward social and documentary concerns. With emotionally impactful portraits of people such as unemployed steelworkers and their families, he portrayed a society during hard times. In 1938, Van Dyke moved into filmmaking. 

Willard's Photography

Photos of Edward by Willard

©Willard Van Dyke

©Willard Van Dyke

Fun fact: We have an original 16mm copy of the movie, The Photographer, that was gifted to Cole by Willard back when the movie was made in 1948! 

Let us know if you enjoyed the movie :)

Willard Van Dyke: http://www.photographydealers.com/artists/willard-van-dyke/