Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.
No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film. ~Robert Adams, Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques, May 1995
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange
A photograph can stop time and allow us to examine a scene that we might have otherwise brushed aside in our hurried pace.
Best know for her image “Migrant Mother”, Dorothea Lange was an influential American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Lange’s photographs humanized the tragic consequences of the Great Depression and profoundly influenced the development of documentary photography.
The photograph that has become known as “Migrant Mother” is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month’s trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration. In 1960, Lange gave this account of the experience:
I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it. (From: Popular Photography, Feb. 1960).
The images were made using a Graflex camera. The original negatives are 4×5″ film. It is not possible to determine on the basis of the negative numbers (which were assigned later at the Resettlement Administration) the order in which the photographs were taken.
Gear is good, vision is better
Artwork on Society6
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Edward Fielding…his work is so commercial and hits the beat with pop culture in a big way. I think he could become one of those iconic artists who people clamor for.
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? What thousand words? A thousand words from a lunatic, or a thousand words from Nietzsche? Actually, Nietzsche was a lunatic, but you see my point. What about a thousand words from a rambler vs. 500 words from Mark Twain? He could say the same thing quicker and with more force than almost any other writer. One thousand words from Ginsberg are not even worth one from Wilde. It’s wild to declare the equivalency of any picture with any army of 1,000 words. Words from a writer like Wordsworth make you appreciate what words are worth.
Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.
Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.