ELS BETH HEDDENHAUSEN
It sounds almost incredible and yet it is true: seven or eight years ago practically the only specialized
photographers in Berlin were portrait photographers and those specializing on interiors and there
was scarcely anyone who understood how to take a picture of any common object which should
be both technically and artistically perfect. The "new objectivity", a phrase which has so soon worn
threadbare, was not yet invented, and everyone gazed admiringly upon America, where a photo
graph of a glass plate and an ice or something of the kind, with its cross-curves, was celebrated as
a triumph of high art.
It is an ancient law of nature: opportunity makes the man, new problems create the men who
can solve them.
Just at this time, seven or eight years ago, the publishing house of Ullstein began to issue its special
series of booklets for which large numbers of objective photographs, which at the same time must
satisfy all artistic demands, were needed. Since there was no-one at hand to take such photo
graphs, someone must be sought for. A young woman photographer aroused attention by the
strictness and simple honesty of her work. She was given a miniature studio, fitted only with
the most indispensable apparatus, told just what was wanted and left to do her best. The results
were astonishing. The photographs which issued from the little studio were masterly work. They
were strictly adapted to the purpose and at the same time artistically fascinating. This one
example formed as it were, a kind of primary cell for the growth of a new kind of photography.