At Dusk

From Pictorial Artistry: The Dramatization of the Beautiful in Photography
"Five p.m. a winter evening. The sun is about to set but still desperately tries to penetrate the heavy atmosphere. The thick blue haze seems to creep between the man-made canyons partly obscuring the great buildings until they appear like colossal ghosts with multitudes of black eyes. Above tower the spires of a dream city, only visible in outline leaving to your imagination the details of the thousands of windows and lofts, where millions of people struggle for their existence.
Pyramidal. From the almost invisible dusky blue foreground, the buildings mass one higher than the other, until we reach the horizon line with its graceful, cathedral-like towers, bathed in an impenetrable veil of a bright orange hue, interrupted by purple etched clouds. The tower on the right side is of great importance in the balance of the composition, permitting the group of tall towers to be placed off center to the left.
Technical Problems:
The exposure was made against the light source itself. The sky, as a result, received over exposure which had to be corrected with local reduction. Separation between some of the buildings had to be provided for by groundglass work. Texture was printed in during enlarging to give a more decided feeling of thick haze.
Camera: 5x7 Eastman View
Lens: Zeiss Tessar
Stop: f.8
Film: Agfa, Supersensative Plenachrome
Exposure: 3 seconds
Print: Defender Velour Black"
by Adolf Fassbender, 1937
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
before 1937
Fassbender, Adolf
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
image: 11 in x 8 in; 27.94 cm x 20.32 cm
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

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