From Pictorial Artistry: The Dramatization of the Beautiful in Photography
"It reminded me of childhood days when we used to play hide and seek. There were plenty of haylofts in the neighborhood. Up through the back stairs and up the ladder we would go, crawling along the huge beams, then hiding under a pile of straw and waiting to be detected—sometimes falling asleep.
Rich or poor, big or small, for hundreds of years, generation after generation, these storehouses represented the worldly worth of the household. Everything imaginable could be found in these great man-made caverns. There were the ghost stories, too. Who would dare, at dusk, to venture up there. What weird noises, and how penetrating were the eyes of the ugly owls. Then, too, it was always fun to discover a nest full of little mice. Yes… those were the days!
Pyramid. To give the setting stability, which it must have, the house was kept close to the center. The cobbler was returning from the well with water, and I waited until he was in the correct position before making the exposure. He provided desirable human interest and helped to balance the composition. Emphasis is concentrated about the figure. Elongation was introduced to give more height and drama to the setting.
Technical Problems:
Many cameras of the smaller type lack rising fronts. This makes tall buildings tumble over and look distorted. We are told that it is modern, and so certain manufacturers get by with it. Enlarging equipment to correct this fault is still scarce so the straightening of lines becomes a grave problem to many pictorialists. Clouds had to be adjusted via retouching to provide for better balance. Telephone wires had to be removed, to avoid a disturbing element of modern life in a medieval setting.
Camera: 2 ¼ x 3 ¼ Makina
Lens: Plaubel Anticomar
Stop: f.6.3
Filter: Medium Yellow
Film: Agfa Super Plenachrome
Exposure: 1/50, in hand
Paper Negative: Velour Black N
Print: Defender Veltura P"
by Adolf Fassbender, 1937
Currently not on view
date made
before 1937
Fassbender, Adolf
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
image: 11 in x 8 7/8 in; 27.94 cm x 22.5425 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Adolf Fassbender, Pictorial Artistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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