Born in Leipzig, Germany, Sonya Noskowiak spent her upbringing in Chile, Panama, and California. At the age of 19, she started her photographic career in 1929 assisting Johan Hagemeyer. She then went on to work with Edward Weston based in Los Angeles, printing Weston's commercial work for him. She lived and worked with Weston from their meeting until 1934.
Noskowiak along with the likes of Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams all worked with large format cameras using the f-stop which allows the sharpest focus and detail at this smallest aperture, f-64, which was the basis for Group f-64's foundation. Their push away from pictorialism showcased works of high contrast and modern abstractions of typical and atypical forms and subject matter.
Noskowiak exhibited her work in the first Group f-64 show at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in 1933 and went on to take part in several one woman and group exhibitions gaining much critical acclaim. She opened her own studio in 1935 in San Francisco where she worked until 1965. A large archive of her work is held at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. In 1992 The Oakland Museum published a book entitled, Seeing Straight Group f/64.