Group f / 64

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..was organized in 1932 by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Willard Van Dyke, Imogen Cunningham, and others, to promote "straight" photography. The group was in response to the "artistic," soft-focus, pictorial type of photography which was popular at the time. Emphasis was placed on "pure" photography, sharp images, maximum depth-of-field, smooth glossy printing paper, emphasizing the unique qualities of the photographic process. The significance of the name lies in the fact that f/64 is the smallest aperture on the lens of a large-format camera and therefore provides the greatest depth-of-field.

The manifesto is of historical interest in the midst of the controversy over the addition of non-photographic techniques to traditional photography.

Group f/64 Manifesto

The name of this Group is derived from a diaphragm number of the photographic lens. It signifies to a large extent the qualities of clearness and definition of the photographic image which is an important element in the work of members of this Group.

The chief object of the Group is to present in frequent shows what it considers the best contemporary photography of the West; in addition to the showing of the work of its members, it will include prints from other photographers who evidence tendencies in their work similar to that of the Group.

Group f/64 is not pretending to cover the entire of photography or to indicate through its selection of members any deprecating opinion of the photographers who are not included in its shows. There are great number of serious workers in photography whose style and technique does not relate to the metier of the Group.

Group f/64 limits its members and invitational names to those workers who are striving to define photography as an art form by simple and direct presentation through purely photographic methods. The Group will show no work at any time that does not conform to its standards of pure photography. Pure photography is defined as possessing no qualities of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form. The production of the "Pictorialist," on the other hand, indicates a devotion to principles of art which are directly related to painting and the graphic arts.

The members of Group f/64 believe that photography, as an art form, must develop along lines defined by the actualities and limitations of the photographic medium, and must always remain independent of ideological conventions of art and aesthetics that are reminiscent of a period and culture antedating the growth of the medium itself.

The Group will appreciate information regarding any serious work in photography that has escaped its attention, and is favorable towards establishing itself as a Forum of Modern Photography.

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