The Effects Of Film Photography On The World

1872 Words8 Pages
Unlike photojournalism which is quick coverage of breaking news and events, Documentary photography focuses on a story or event in depth over a period of time. Visual storytelling has the power to capture the public’s attention, highlight pressing issues and expose ignored realities. Early documentary photography was mostly used to bring about social reform. For example, Lewis Hines photographs played a role in passing the child labour law in America. Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange created photographs, which were “the most important example of a state-funded documentary project in the world” (Wells, p97), Wells, L (2009) Photography : A Critical Introduction which documented how the depression affected farm workers in America.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, photographers such as Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank, greatly influenced the effect documentary photography had on the world. Winogrand stated that he took pictures “To see what something looks like as a photograph”. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s, American photographers changed the style of documentary photography from its traditional and usual snapshot photographs and instead used various techniques to carefully compose and create incredible stories.

This essay will now focus on Swiss-born photographer, Robert Frank and his book “The Americans”. While analyzing this documentary project, we have to keep in mind various different questions in order to evaluate the work. Questions such as,
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