Leading twentieth-century African American photographer P.H. Polk was the official photographer for Tuskegee University in Alabama. He originally captured his pictures using an Eastman Kodak box camera—or the “Brownie”—with a Graflex single lens. His photograph of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with Tuskegee Airmen chief flight instructor Charles Anderson generated national attention to African American aviation. Primarily shooting in black and white, Polk demonstrated acute knowledge of “Rembrandt lighting,” named after Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn whose portraits are celebrated for their light and dark contrasts. He believed his best works were “accidents” that resulted from his struggle to get the right shot in the correct focus.
Source: Mason Fine Art