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Frank Sadorus, Illinois Photographer
Sadorus, Illinois
The Sadorus Family
The Sadorus Farm
Frank Sadorus' Photography
Early 20th Century Photography
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ISM System :Frank Sadorus' Photography

Frank Sadorus' Photography

Photo Equipment

Frank Sadorus studied photography by reading magazines and books and experimenting with supplies he ordered by mail. He made notes about each photograph he took detailing the exposure, weather and light conditions, and the chemicals and papers he used to develop his prints. Frank's elder brother Enos also had an interest in photography; it's possible that Frank learned from him initially and added to his knowledge from books.

He read about photography, art, science, secretarial practice,and taxidermy. The range of reading matter, which included novels, suggests that he had an inclusive and curious mind. It also suggests how he passed the long winter nights.

Frank Sadorus saw magazine prints of photographs by pictorialist and impressionist photographers, but he was a thousand miles and an entire subculture away from New York. His style was more in tune with the "straight"photography that followed Steiglitz. He was clearly influenced by the snapshot photography that revolutionized the world through Eastman Kodak.

Supplies and Education
Frank ordered his photographic supplies from St. Louis. Most of his plate glass negatives came from the Seed Dry Plate Company. He used Velox paper for printing his pictures. To keep up on photographic techniques, he read the Photographic Times, Camera Craft, Wilson's Photographic Magazine, Northern Photo News, St. Louis and Canadian Photographer, Bulletin of Photography, Photo-Era: the American Journal of Photography, and some annuals and books.

Photographic books in Frank's collection include: Picture Making for Pleasure and Profit, The Kodak on the Farm, The Modern Way in Picture Making, Faults in Negatives, Standard of Perfection, and Cramer's Manual of Negative Making and Formulas. Other manuals include Bromide Enlarging with a Kodak, By Flashlight, Photographic Facts and Fallacies, and Development Simplified.

GWB in Silhouette

Sunshine and Shadow
Sadorus was very sensitive to light and shot at many different times of day to capture different effects.
He was very interested in the qualities of light and shadow. This was reflected in some of the titles he gave his landscapes and references to his "complete sunshine system,". The reference could also refer to his sense of humor, exemplified in his double exposures, visual puns, and written notations on prints.

Many of his portraits demonstrated chiaroscuro lighting, picking up the subtler darker tones of shadow. He also experimented with double exposures, often with a pun in mind. He lit some of his still lifes from several angles. Others appear as if in natural light with sharp detail that gives a sense of portrait to them.



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