Is "The Photographer" (Willard Van Dyke) on Video? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I've read that Willard Van Dyke directed/photographed a documentary film on Edward Weston titled 'The Photographer' for the U.S. Information Agency in 1947. Does anyone know whether this film is available as a videotape? Leads to possible sources would be greatly appreciated.


-- Fred Leif (, February 15, 2001


Don't know if it's available on video. Some possible leads:

Janet Russek of Scheinbaum & Russek (in Santa Fe) founded the New Mexico Council of Photography, which annually awards the Willard Van Dyke Memorial Grant in Photography (and S&R also sell Van Dyke photographs; they're a remarkable resource). She's at

328 S Guadalupe Street, Suite M, Santa Fe, NM 87501, Phone: 505.988.5116

Don't have a website or e-mail for them.

I also found two showings of the movie in recent months: the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, (???) 267-9300, showed it last September 8, and the Arts Assn of Nanctucket, (508) 325-5251, showed it last November. They both probably showed a film version but you could ask where they ordered it from and call their source. The latter listed it as 27 minutes long, fwiw....

Hope this helps.


-- Simon (, February 15, 2001.

Hi Fred, try your local college/university film archive. Maybe a big city library would have it. At least that's where I watched it, the univsersity library. They had it on VCR. I don't remember it being all to long a showing. Best, David

-- david clark (, February 15, 2001.

You might try an online retailer like I have had great luck ordering hard to locate films and books from them. Bob

-- Bob Moulton (, February 15, 2001.

The following libraries own copies:


Here's the full OCLC Citation:

The photographer. Publication: U. S. Dept. of State,; 1948.; Produced by Affiliated Film Producers.; Released for educational use in the United States through U. S. Office of Education,; 1950. Year: 1950 1948 Description: 1 reel, 26 min.,; sd., b&w,; 16 mm. Language: English Standard No: LCCN: fia 52-154 Abstract: Personality, philosophy, techniques, and artistry of Edward Weston, a contemporary American photographer, illustrated through scenes of Weston at his home in California and on location, working and talking with his students, and through exhibitions of his portraits. SUBJECT(S) Descriptor(s): Photography, Artistic. Named Person: Weston, Edward, 1886-1958. Class Descrpt: Dewey: 770 Responsibility: Producer, Willard Van Dyke; writer, Irving Jacoby; narrator, Mel Brandt; cameraman, Benjamin Doniger; editor, Alexander Hammid. More Corp Auth: United States.; Dept. of State. ; United States.; Office of Education. ; Affiliated Film Producers, inc., New York. Document Type: Visual Material Entry: 19790110 Update: 19950223 Accession No: OCLC: 4537927

-- Sean yates (, February 15, 2001.

Check out the big brain on Sean.

-- Chad Jarvis (, February 16, 2001.

Makes it hard to find a good toupee!

And just to jazz things up, a lot of college/university libraries won't inter-library loan AV materials.

-- Sean yates (, February 16, 2001.

I was able to get a tape made from a 16 mm film copy from the Circulating Film Library (?) at the Museum of Modern Art in New york a few years ago...

-- Richard (, February 23, 2001.

I have a good 16mm print of "The Photographer" featuring Edward Weston. It is about a half hour, black & white, sound. Yesterday I sent it to have a digital master made so DVDs and video tapes can be copied with highest quality. Anyone who would like further info please send me an email.

-- Thomas Robinson (, April 25, 2001.

Ladies and Gentlemen,if you want a copy of this film your prayers have been answered. Now you can see Edward Weston Walk and Talk and print right there in your Living Room. Sort of.

yes, The Photographer is available on VHS video. It costs about $95. It is available from the National Technical Information Service. They have a website but iirc it isnt terribly "informative", if you'll pardon the pun.

On to the "sort of". Well this movie sort of, no, it doesnt sort of, by todays or even yesterdays standards this film really totally SUCKS!!! Imagine, there you are with a chance to film one of the greatest photographers of all time, a chance to film him, ask him questions, whatever. Imagine all the things YOU would have done if you were producing this film, and then go cry in your pyro because this film does NONE of it. It isnt an Edward Weston film, or even a photography film, its a late 40's post-war pre Cold War Isnt America Great and isnt EW a fine example of a Great American film. Edward utters nary a word through this film; no, no, that would only make you wish the film was about photography, or, god forbid, EW. Instead you get the rich voice of a super-patriotic narrator, trying to get the red American blood flowing until you beat on your chest and proclaim how great it is to be American like EW!!! Well I could go on and I probably will later, but I was sadly disappointed by this film. I wouldnt pay $50 for it, let alone $100. If they even allowed him to utter the word "Isopan 25", or even lip-sync it, I gladly would have paid $50. A tremendous opportunity to record EW for all time was lost, lost lost. When I say it sucks, I'm not exaggerating. Not only will you NOT be glad you saw it, you will wish you hadnt! It didnt make me at all proud to be an American

Instead, I recommend a film "Remembering Edward Weston", a film from the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. It is no great shakes either, but it includes some (very little, mercifully) of the Van Dyke footage and brief, modern (early 90's?) segments with Cole, Brett, Charis, and Beaumont Newhall. And iirc it cost a lot less and was worth the money, more or less.

-- Wayne (, March 06, 2002.

VHS tapes of "The Photographer", a 1947 film about Edward Weston are now available for $20.00 US. This is a broadcast quality professional digital transfer off an original film. Included with each tape is an archival fiber print of Edward taken in November 1952, printed directly from the original negative. Postage in USA is $3.50 by priority (3 day service) or $1.78 by media rate (10 day service). International postage at cost. Credit card payments through Paypal are accepted. More info, and screen shots, at

thanks -- Thomas Robinson 441 NE Jarrett St. Portland OR 97211-3126 USA 503-460-0415

-- Thomas Robinson (, June 17, 2002.

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