Baron Gayne De Meyer
b. 1868; d. 1946886)
Some photographers are often not included in the list of pioneers. Such is the case for De Meyer who in his time had significant influence on early photography. His real name was Demeyer Watson, He used the surnames Meyer, von Meyer, de Meyer, de Meyer-Watson, and Meyer-Watson at various times in his life. From 1897 he was known as Baron Adolph Edward Sigismond de Meyer, though some contemporary sources list him as Baron Adolph von Meyer and Baron Adolph de Meyer-Watson. a wealthy man who was created Baron de Meyer by the King of Saxony. Meyer was the son of a German Jewish father and Scottish mother—Adolphus Louis Meyer. In 1893 he joined the Royal Photographic Society and moved to London in 1895 where he settle with his wife.
De Meyer was influenced by Stieglitz, but it has to be aid that his earliest work was pretty banal. Then his photography suddenly changed, as he began to experiment with soft-focus lenses and back-lighting, producing the beautiful images that help him to be remember. He was the first official photographer of Vogue Magazine
Some twenty of his photographs were reproduced in the influential quarterly Camera Work. His other most memorable photographs include a fine collection of the distinguished ballet dancer Nijinsky in his most famous roles.
De Meyer’s lighting techniques had an influence in the early days of cinema. He emigrated to California, where he died in poverty. The obituary in the Los Angeles Times mention his death being registered as ‘Gayne Adolphus Demeyer, retired writer. Did not even mention his photography.