German photography in the 1920's and 1930's (ie., New Photography) evolved through two highly articulated but divergent approaches: the school of objectivity (Albert Renger-Patzsch, Werner Mantz; Karl Blossfeldt; and August Sander) and the New Vision school of experimental possibilities (Laszlo Moholy-Nagy) that strongly emphasized the unity of all applied arts.
Wolfgang Sievers, Aerial view of solar salt fields near Dampier, Western Australia 1971, National Library of Australia
The Neue Sachlichkeit" (New Objectivity) movement was an outgrowth of, and an opposition to, expressionism, and it avoided painterly effects of pictorialism which lead photographers to abandon the unique qualities of the medium. This machine aesthetic bought a sharply focused, documentary quality and a matter-of-fact style to art photography and was focused on form and design. It concentrated on the exact appearance of objects -- their form, material, and surface and rejected any kind of artistic claim for the photographer since the photographer should strive to capture the "essence of the object".
The aesthetic of Neue Sachlichkeit ('New Objectivity'), which emerged emphasised sharp focus, strong composition, unusual camera angles and dramatic use of lighting. Its modern, avant-garde aesthetic was deemed to be ideally suited to advertising, architectural and industrial subjects. Photography was about recording external reality rather than conveying personal emotion.