Although the photographs on Florida Memory are often discussed for their historic value, all exhibit some level of artistic direction and formal design elements.
A group of San Francisco-based photographers known as Group f/64 were renowned for their extreme focus and depth of field. Beginning in the late 1920s, Group f/64 formed as a sub-group of the West Coast Photographic Movement, a straight photography movement that worked against the prevailing pictorialist movement which attempted to mimic gestures of Romantic and Impressionist painting. The group included Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, John Paul Edwards, Sonya Noskowiak, Henry Swift, Willard Van Dyke, and Edward Weston.
Group f/64’s name was derived from the extremely small aperture used in their large-format photography in photographing landscapes and close-up objects. The result is a severe, almost unnatural depth and crispness unattainable by the human eye or previous photography.
Their impact on photography became widespread by the 1930s and can be seen in many of the photographs in the Florida Photographic Collection. While the landscapes and objects have changed, the principles remain unchanged.
While the images shown here were not necessarily inspired directly by this group, they are suggestive of the f/64 aesthetic. These formalist, aesthetic, and stylistic approaches foster new and different ways to engage with the images.
Visit the Florida Photographic Collection and search for photos from your area.