chapter  15
24 Pages

The Possibility of Agency for Photographic Subjects

Photography has been regarded from its inception as a technology that can be considered only in tandem with its content. Increases in film speed, the development of the hand held camera, explorations in paper and plate emulsions and the like are inevitably discussed in terms of the visual results, the content that was suddenly possible. Lewis Hine could not have taken the pictures of the "men at work" building the Empire State Building without the recently developed, smaller, hand-held camera. Edward Weston, who prided himself on never retouching or cropping his pictures, developed a visual philosophy of"shades of gray" that depended on constancy ofboth film and paper emulsions.