Taking photographs may seem simple, but being a photographer is more than browsing through the viewfinder and pushing the exposure button. A photographer needs to know how to analyze the scene, speak in words that language cannot, and reach to the souls of people through a picture. During the Great Depression, many photographers captured the scenes of poverty and grief. However, there was only one photographer that truly captured the souls of Americans. According to Roy Stryker, Dorothea Lange "had the most sensitivity and the most rapport with people" (Stryker and Wood 41). Dorothea Lange was a phenomenal photographer that seized the hearts of people during the 1930s and beyond, and greatly affected the times of the Great Depression.
To begin with, Lange helped perceive the poor living conditions of the 1900’s through her photo of the migrant mother and three children. For instance, Lange with her photo of the migrant mother helped raise awareness, for the federal government gave the pea pickers camp, where the migrant mother had been distinguished, “twenty thousand pounds of food”. (Starr 48) The photo of the unfortunate pea pickers helped people realize how hopeless they really were. This creating a willingness to help. Showing Lange's photography ability to create empathy through a simple photo. In addition, the mother was so desperate for help that when the picture was taking place, “there she sat in the lean-to-tent” motionless. (Starr 47) The migrant mother was so
Dorothea Lange became a well-known photographer with pictures of the Dust Bowl. According to Garland 2003 her photography obtained government relief for Dust Bowl migrants because she “visually demonstrated the hunger, poverty, hardship, and the plight of the migrants.”
Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother is a photograph that documents a moment of distress within American history. The image works as a visual representation of suffering for those who were lucky enough not to live within the Dust Bowl region. To many it is uncertain if Lange’s image became an American Icon because of the struggle it presented or because of the eye capturing composition of it. However, with this image came forth the issue of a photos validity after photo manipulation, as Lange edited the image by removing the thumb of the mother who was a large subject. Despite the slight manipulation in Migrant Mother, the photograph still presents the situation truthfully, making the photograph function as both a work of art and a historical document.
Georgia O’Keeffe was born to the parents of Francis Calyxtus O’Keeffe and Ida (Totto) O’Keeffe on November 15, 1887 near Wisconsin. Georgia was the second oldest child and by the age of ten she knew she wanted to become an artist someday. Her first aspiration was doing abstracts. She was selective about what she painted, but often times she would paint to please others and not herself. Her paintings were thought of as sexual paintings because of the way they were drawn and painted in which she would say is one’s own opinion. Georgia O’Keeffe was best known for her flower canvas and southwestern landscapes. Her husband who is a famous photographer by the name of Alfred Stieglitz used to paint nice portraits of her. She was very fond of him, they both liked what each other did as far as how they were making ends meet, and he just didn’t want her to sell any of her paintings. He would often times tell people “No” so they wouldn’t buy any of her paintings because he wanted them all to himself. She had an interest in nature and used bright colors in her paintings.
You Have Seen Their Faces by Margaret Bourke-White and Erskine Caldwell is a photo documentary of life in the South during the Great Depression. After reading You Have Seen Their Faces along with critiques of it by Rabinowitz and Snyder, I found myself more interested in the topic of how motherhood was depicted in the book. Rabinowitz brought up that middle class women felt the need to regulate the poor women because they weren 't feminine enough or motherly enough which is the main attitude involved in slumming. By observing Margaret Bourke-White’s photos I found two distinct classes of these types of images: positive and negative. I was curious as to the deeper meanings behind these two classes of photos and what this meant about Bourke-White’s perspective of her subjects. Another point of interest is how and if the captions of these photos of mothers cause the images to be interpreted differently.
Dorothea Dix was born on April 4, 1802 in Hampden, Maine. She was the oldest of three and was the daughter of a religious fanatic and distributor of religious tracts. At the age of 12, she left to live with her grandmother in Boston and later then lived in Massachusetts with her aunt. She began going to school for teaching at 14. After, attending teaching school she returned to Boston where she founded Dix Mansion, an all girls school, as well as a charity school for girls who could not afford to
For the hundreds of thousands who left in the Okie Mirgration, heading to California, hoping for a better life as migrant workers, or to achieve their own dreams, they had faced many social issues because of who they were. But in the areas of culture, Okies can claim their greatest feats, they skyrocketed sympathetic artists to popularity as they raised attention to the migrants. Such as Woody Guthrie for his folk songs, and Dorothea Lange for her photos that raised
Before starting this project, I knew very little about photography, photographers, or exactly how much impact photographical images have had on our society. I have never taken a photography class, or researched too in depth about specific pictures or photographers. This project has allowed me to delve deeper into the world of photography in order to understand just how much influence pictures can have over society’s beliefs, emotions, and understandings’. I have have chosen two highly influential photographers, Diane Arbus and Dorothea Lange, who I have found to both resonate with me and perfectly capture human emotions in way that moves others.
Taylor hired Lange because of her honesty she showed in her style of photos and because she felt passionate about her work, which is parallel to what Coles states: a document is done with the bias of the documentarian. Another source that strongly supports and illuminates Coles thoughts about Lange and human actuality is Louis Gawthrop’s article: “Her fears are our fears, her visions, our visions, her images, our images--of the homeless, the poor, the ever-growing, functionally illiterate underclass, the continuing fragmentation of the family, the evil of discrimination, and the steady erosion of the human capacity to love one's neighbor” (64). Lange feels very badly for the children, and wants to do whatever she can to portray the sadness and despair occurring during the dustbowl era. Lange snaps a photo at a specific angel, with optimal lighting, having the subjects pose to her command, to create a story that Lange imagines in her head when looking through the lenses. All of the latter are constructed with her own thoughts of what sadness, starvation, and desperation are. As I mentioned in the introduction, Coles says that human actuality is a clear product of the documentarian. Dorthea Lange and Walker Evans are both credited for their documentary work.
Margaret Bourke-White, world-renowned photographer, was a true icon to the world because of her unusual early life and education, her striking industrial photography career, powerful human-interest photography, and her heroic battle with a crippling disease in her final years. Margaret Bourke-White’s younger years took a unique and interesting route. On June 14, 1904 (Browne 38), Joseph and Minnie White (Goldberg 9) brought Margaret Bourke White (Welch 27) into the world in the Bronx, New York (Oden 2). Margaret's was meant to be birthed on June 13, but after discovering that Joseph and Minnie’s anniversary was the next day, the doctor prolonged Minnie’s labor (Goldberg 7). Margaret had two siblings (Oden 2), Ruth and Roger (Welch 8). At a
Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits By Linda Gordon - Summary Lange had been hired by the Farm Security Administration, to document the trouble of farmworkers during The Great Depression, which covered everyone from sharecroppers to refugees to Mexican American migrants from ¬Texas to California. Lange’s territory covered the entire state of California, which she covered by driving across the state. Driving one day, she passed a sign reading “Pea-Pickers Camp” near Nipomo. When Lange was driving something pulled her back. She had come to understand their migrant life, the periods of exhausting labor followed by long, unpaid, periods of inactivity.
The photographer Vivian Maier is an interesting woman and her photographs are even more intriguing. Vivian was born in New York City in February of 1926 and in 2009 she passed away. She was born to a French mother and an Austrian father. She is known today as an American street photographer and many of her photos were taken on the streets of NYC and Chicago. While growing up Maier spent the majority of her life in France. In 1949, while she was still in France she got her hands on her first camera which was a Kodak Brownie. Two years later in 1951 she returned to American and took a job as a nanny and caregiver. She carried her camera everywhere she went. When she first started taking photos they were in black and white, but as the years passed she then switched to color when she bought a more advanced camera. She took documentary portraits of strangers while walking around New York City and Chicago. Over a course of five decades, she accrued more than 100,000 negatives.
Dorothea Lange is an experienced photographer, born on the 26th day of March 1895. Her works have been a source of insight for many people and this has proved very effective to contemporary photographers. There are many works that this woman did during her time and it is important to acknowledge them. Migrant Mother is one of these works and the applause that it has gotten from the viewers clearly portrays expertness at its best. The photo revolves around the life and family of one Florence Owens Williams and was taken in 1936 in California Florida. Going through the various elements of this photograph is effective in ensuring that one understands the deep concepts that revolve around it.