Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wiki & Abstracts (no. 11) - Documentary Photography

Since we are on the subject of documentaries,
I thought I write about one of my favorite mediums of media..


This genre of photography aims to document or record an event, culture, person, history, and/or landscape with a photograph. This type of photography is objective and seeks to reveal the candid truth about its subject.

Can also be called Photojournalism

Documentary Photography has been a tool to bring some of humankind's most devastating truths to the surface..

Lewis Hine photographed Child Labor during the Industrial Revolution. His work brought to light the atrocities of children as young as four working 16 hour days in dangerous work environments for low pay. After Hine's photographs became public they created an awareness and helped outlaw child labor.

***Child labor still exists all over the world.***

"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." - Dorothy Lange

Dorothea Lange captured images of
the utter desperation of the people hit hardest by the Great Depression. Her work inspired to government to create more incentives for the struggling lower classes.

Nan Goldin is one of the few documentary photographers who turns the camera on herself. Apart of the underground counterculture of New York City she documented her life struggles with drugs, domestic abuse, and her relationships. Her work in the 80's made people rethink physical abuse and AIDS.

Here is a video mash up of some documentary photographs that impacted millions and inspired movements.

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