Category: Photography

Edward Weston


Seeing California with Edward Weston by Edward Weston

Seeing California with Edward Weston by Edward Weston

Images: .

Seeing California with Edward Weston was published in 1939 by Westways — Automobile Club of Southern California.

“42 p. of illustrations selected from 1000 negatives made by the author, a professional photographer, in his first year as a Guggenheim fellow whose project was ‘to photograph life.'”

Excerpt from .

Describing Weston as “a professional photographer” is a bit of an understatement. He is the photographer whose outstanding work was acknowledged as fine art (see below).


Image/excerpt of footnote from P. 352 of .

Ansel Adams publishes first book


Image: . See some of the Adams photos at the link.

Ansel Adams published his first book, Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail.

A rare jewel has been discovered in the oeuvre of Ansel Adams. Known to only a few avid book collectors and museums, Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail is an extraordinary publication in many respects. Adams, at the age of 36, was commissioned to prepare a book of his photographs taken along the world-famous John Muir Trail as a tribute to Pete Starr, a young American mountaineer (and son of a Sierra Club president) killed in a climbing accident. Composed of 50 photographs of the Sierra Nevada — many never published again — the book is an exquisite portrait of the mountain world of the High Sierra in California.

Excerpt from the image link above.

The Sierra Club says it was published in 1939* but a book website (image link above) says 1938.

* . Click on the link to see a timeline of the life and legacy of John Muir.


Lite-Beam Focuser for cameras


Image: The Focus, December 1941

“In 1939, [James Caughey “Coy” Watson, Jr.] invented and manufactured the Coy Watson Lite Beam Focuser, a built-in camera device that assured accurate still camera focusing in total darkness. It’s believed this invention marked the first time a battery was ever placed in a camera.”
Excerpt from Associated Press obituary at .

Coy was an actor, photographer and cinematographer with an interesting life. Click on the archive link to learn about him.

Camera flash synchronizer


Professsional photographers needed to be sure that the bulb would flash exactly when the camera shutter was open. This device from a manufacturer in Hollywood filled the bill. The Speed Graphic camera was the mainstay of press photographers. The wire outline above the lensboard was a sports finder. It provided a “good enough” indication of what would appear on the film as the photographer looked through it when following moving subjects.