Figure 8

From Pictorial Artistry: The Dramatization of the Beautiful in Photography
"Winter in Central Park, New York City. Early morning, only a few people realized that there would be ice and snow in the Park. The haze was lifting and I found this young lady busy making her perpetual Figure 8. Ice skating is real fun at the foot of the city skyscrapers. It is real fun, too, taking pictures on such an exhilarating morning, except for the comfort of my finger tips and toes.
In the distance is Columbus Circle if one wishes to penetrate the thin haze which lingers like winter’s icy breath over the town.
The open space between the figures and the tree in the foreground provides an excellent entrance to the wintry scene, which is enhanced by the interesting group of modern skyscrapers in the background. The tree on the lower right is most important in the balance of the composition. Also the slight darkening of the sky on the upper right, conveying the blue coming through, helps to add to the necessary weight at this point.
Technical Problems:
In the foreground there was a fence which had to be removed via retouching. Otherwise one would have to jump over the fence to reach the picture. The tree on the right was too light and had to be darkened via reduction on the negative. A texture was introduced in the printing to convey the feeling of the delicate haze, noticed when making the picture. The vicinity around the skating figure had to be lightened to distinguish the lady from her surroundings. The ice looked too dark, especially in the distance, and had to be brightened.
Camera: Jewell A 9x12cm
Lens: Zeiss Tessar
Stop: f.11
Film: Agfa Super Plenachrome
Filter: Light Yellow
Exposure: 1/10, on tripod
Print: 14x17 Tuma Gas, blue toned"
by Adolf Fassbender, 1937
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
before 1937
Fassbender, Adolf
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
image: 11 1/8 in x 8 1/8 in; 28.2575 cm x 20.6375 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Adolf Fassbender, Pictorial Artistry
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Adolf Fassbender, Pictorial Artistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.