Imogen Cunningham by Nancy Yu

About Imogen Cunningham: Imogen Cunningham was an American photographer, born in April 12, 1883.
Imogen Cunningham is known for her botanical photography, nudes, and industrial landscapes. She embraced the evolution of artistic movements, and began to believe that the camera was capable of seeing and capturing moments nonexistent to the naked eye, and thus began experimenting that concept with her photography.

Cunningham was a member of the California-based Group f/64. She was best known for her detailed, sharply focused photographs of plants as well as her revealing portraits.

sharp-focus rendition of simple subjects.
  • Her Life Experience:
  • Germany:¬†Cunningham worked at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden where she helped the photographic chemistry department find cheaper solutions for the expensive and, at the time due to World War I, rare platinum used for printing.
  • Seattle: In Seattle, Cunningham opened a studio and won acclaim for portraiture and pictorial work.
  • California: In 1920, the family moved to San Francisco where Partridge taught at Mills College. During this time period, she changed her photographic career direction a lot.
Dream, a 1910 photograph by Imogen Cunningham
a botanical photograph of a succulent plant by Imogen Cunningham
While in f/64 group, the members use large-format view cameras, small lens apertures, and contact printing. The clarity of vision and strong, uncluttered compositions of Cunningham's photographs of people and plants exemplify this aesthetic.

Imogen Cunningham loved to use contrast light. Most of her black and white portraits are using this kind of light, like:

Contrast light
Contrast light
Imogen was inspired by Gertrude Kasebier and decided to be a photographer. After graduating from college in 1907, Cunningham went to work for Edward S. Curtis in his Seattle studio, gaining knowledge about the portrait business and practical photography.
Imogen Cunningham founded Group f/64 with six other seven 20th-century San Francisco photographers who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. In part, they formed in opposition to the pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 20th century, but moreover they wanted to promote a new modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects.

I like the black and white style of Imogen Cunningham's arts, and the sharpness of clarity and the contrast of light make her photographs different and memorable. Looking at her gallery rejoice me:

Thank you.

Created By
Nancy Yu


Famous Photographer, Nancy Yu, per.2

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