Ruth Bernhard was born in Berlin in 1905. In 1927, after two years at the Berlin Academy of Art, Ruth moved to New York where she began to pursue a career in photography. Eight years later she met Edward Weston in California and was deeply moved by his work. He revealed to her the creative potential of photography and desiring to work with him, so she moved to the West Coast. In 1953, she moved to San Francisco and became a colleague of Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White and Wynn Bullock. She has lectured and conducted master classes throughout the United States through her 95th birthday.
Ruth Bernard says that her work is to transform the complexities of the figure into harmonies of simplified forms revealing the natural reality, the life force, the spirit, the inherent symbolism and the underlying remarkable structure – to isolate and give emphasis to form with the greatest clarity.
Looking into Bernhard’s work she studied the camera work a lot to produced images of the human form that clearly showed the boundaries between the spirit and the flash of the body. These photographs above expresses her lifelong passion to understand the effects of light on the body and to reveal it in its purest form. Each photograph contains a classic perfection, giving it a sense of the eternal and making it a timeless masterpiece of the human figure, which is said in The Eternal Body book that her work in shown in.
Rosalind Maingot became a photographer after a successful career as an actress. She was born in Australia, and studied at the London School of Photography after marrying a surgeon and living in London. Her work includes figure studies, still lifes and flowers, but throughout her photographs of women, influences from her previous acting career can be seen both in terms of pose and emotion.
Her work and techniques of posing and the emotion she includes in them is what I am wanting to achieve in my work. Her work although was shot and developed using the gelatin silver print process, I think using this process makes the overall image softer and having it black and white makes the shadows and highlights softer and not as contrasty which in her case makes the poses and emotion of her images beautiful and works well together. I couldn’t find anything out her process in general, but the gelatin silver print process is a process uses a large format camera that they coat a glass plate with multiple different things such as, gelatin, distilled water, liquid light and then exposing the glass plate and lastly developing it in a softer developer, then a water stop bath before fixing it then the last step is washing it using hypo clearing agent.
I really love her work and how its so fluent and looks like the image is taken from a moment in time and not posed. I think her using her actress background has helped her in making he images more as a moment in time and not just a photograph that she staged. I think her work wouldn’t have been as strong if she didn’t have that in her previous career.