Assignment 2

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    Born 26 May 1895 in Hoboken, New Jersey Dorothea Lange was an accomplished photographer of great mastery and influence. What inspired me most was her deep concern for people, the empathy she showed for her subjects made her unique among other photographers. In 1902 at the age of seven she contracted Polio which left her with a limp. She believed that it heightened her sensitivity for those who were also suffering. Her images capture true human courage and endurance and determination to survive. Particular important to me was the picture of “Migrant Mother” which had a photojournalism approach. In this black and white photograph, the first thing I see is the sad, stressed and worried face of a mother and her two children turning their faces away from the camera, seemingly tired, crying or hungry. When I look at the lines on her face and quality of clothes she and her children are wearing, I realize that their lives are probably tough. Dorothea put emphasis on the face, especially her eyes. The picture has a variety of tones of black and white shadows and sources of light are shown. The texture is coarse; the raw and uneven texture reinforces the idea that their lives are tough. I think the picture was taken with high speed black and white film; she used a high shutter speed with a wide open aperture. Therefore the shallow depth of field that actually keeps the viewers focus on the subjects. The picture communicates the harsh lives of the migrants during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. It expresses the concerns of women and children under the harsh conditions of migrating from one place to another. It shows explicitly the worries, hardship and sadness of the migrants by focusing on a mother’s face. The idea of motherhood is captured in Dorothea’s picture a mother’s love and devotion to her family even in the midst of poverty.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Stunning photographs full of texture and despair. For example:

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

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