Weed Beauty

From Pictorial Artistry: The Dramatization of the Beautiful in Photography
"Away from the road, in back of the farmhouse, there is a little pool. A tiny spring of a nondescript origin is the source of its existence. This murky little pond is the delight of ducks and pigs.
Here, near its muddy shore thrives the beautiful white flower called a “Weed”. Bathed in sunshine and reflections, and nourished by the richness of the soil beneath, one forgets its sinister surroundings and sees beauty where one does not expect it. It all happens in photography.
Separation of the motive from the surroundings is demonstrated forcefully in this composition. Making use of the dark reflection of a house, the bunch of white flowers is set off in great contrast and to take the necessary prominence. Tone balance is so arranged that the brightest light and dark culminates below and around the flowers. The broken flower in a horizontal position breaks the otherwise monotonous repetition of the many vertical stems.
Technical Problems:
Local reduction of the negative was used on the top and sides to avoid restlessness in the picture. Emphasis was placed on the flowers by retouching. Etching and more retouching removed unnecessary twigs and rubbish in the water. Balancing of tone was done in the printing.
Camera: Jewel A (Zeiss)
Lens: Tessar
Stop: f.8
Filter: Medium Yellow
Film: Agfa Plenachrome
Exposure: 1/5 second, on tripod
Print: 14x17 Tuma Gas, direct"
by Adolf Fassbender, 1937
Currently not on view
date made
before 1937
Fassbender, Adolf
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
image: 11 in x 8 5/8 in; 27.94 cm x 21.9075 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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