Dustbowl Dance

One of the greatest documentary photographers was Dorothea Lange who is best known for her photographs of migrant workers during the Great Depression. She began her career shooting portraits in San Fransisco but soon turned her lens elsewhere and focused her art on trying to benefit those in less fortunate situations. In addition to her photography of displaced families during the Depression she also documented the experiences of Japanese Americans and their internment during World War II. Her images depict a very specific moment in time but their haunting quality is still felt today. One of things I admire most of her work (aside from the philanthropic nature) is their candid quality--her ability to make her subjects feel relaxed enough in front of the lens to just be themselves. Although she captured unstaged moments her skill still shines in the composition of each image. Looking through her work is a fascinating glimpse into American history and a welcome reminder of the power of photography--the government responded to the publication of some of her photographs in 1936 by rushing aid to a work camp. Photography, art, creative expressions have the power to make a change in the world...


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