The image that most of all raised public awareness at the time of the Great Depression was taken in California, north of Los Angeles and almost never existed. 1936: Photographer Dorothea Lange, after seeing the sign of a pea field, continued on for about 20 miles. However, there was a detail of the field that struck her and so she decided to go back: here she noticed Frances Owens Thompson, so approached her and her children. The harvest had frozen and the farmers in the field were left without food. This photo taken by Dorothea Lange, known as the “Migrant Mother”, went around the United States and helped to send about 9 tons of food to the area where Frances and many other farmers were. Through an intimate portrait of a troubled family, Lange put a face to a suffering nation.
In the mid-1980s, the Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado made an extraordinary reportage on the Sierra Pelada gold mine in Brazil. Since the first gold was found in the quarry, there has been a continuous coming and going of men who left their lands to work in the mine, hoping to find a gold nugget. And so, every day, an enormous number of people went up and down the precarious ladders in the quarry, dozens of times a day, carrying bags of mud weighing 60 kilos, in which they looked for even the smallest trace of precious metal. One of the most incredible and powerful reportage ever made in the history of photography.
One of the most controversial images in the history of photography and one of the most famous and important of the 20th century. In August 1936 Robert Capa left for Spain with the intention of documenting the Spanish Civil War on the front line. Capa is passionate about the anti-fascist cause, takes a stand, becomes a militant, telling like no other the strength and courage of men in struggle and the difficulties of an afflicted and innocent people. The photo, known as “The Falling Soldier”, was taken on the Cordoba front, in Cerro Muriano, during a Loyalist offensive.
In 1945 Ed Clark, photographer of LIFE magazine, was sent to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s funeral in Warm Springs, Georgia. As hundreds of photographers snapped pictures of the funeral procession, Clark, hearing the notes of Dvorak’s “Goin’ Home” coming from behind him, turned and saw a man crying. The image depicting Navy officer Graham Jackson went around the world, becoming an icon and symbol of a mourning country, broken by pain.
This year is almost gone. I don’t want to write a post about my 2022, it would be too self-centred and boring. By the way, it’s been a year full of different things, good and bad, as happens to everybody, I guess. But let’s talk about photography. I tried to select the best street photos I took during this year, since the midnight of the 1 January until now (well, 2022 is not over and maybe I could take some good photos today or tomorrow, but I don’t think so…). Just pure street photos, no Raindrop Blues nor Urban Melodies. I chose the photos according to my personal taste, so I’m not really sure about my selection, I’m not a great editor of myself. But it’s ok, here is the gallery and I hope you will enjoy it!
I wish you the best for 2023 and I hope you can achieve all your good resolutions. See you next year and thanks for being here.Continue reading
Maybe the greatest contemporary street photographer and one of the greatest ever, Alex Webb is known for his images full of colour, people, complexity and reading planes. He takes this shot in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico: one of the masterpieces of the stunning book “La Calle”, which collects his shots taken in Mexico between 1975 and 2007. Since 1979 Alex Webb is one of the leading photographers of Magnum Photos.
In this journey towards the rediscovery of the land, Mario Giacomelli, one of the greatest Italian photographers, gave the best of his capacity for evocative narration. His series La buona terra (“The Good Land”), created between 1964 and 1967, tells us about the peasant world by introducing us to the house of a large patriarchal family, revealing its customs, traditions, children’s games, hard work, discovering at the same time the spiritual side of those who, working the land, remained close to their roots, respecting the origin and sense of humanity.
In 1955 a young Swiss photographer, Robert Frank, obtains a scholarship from the Guggenheim Foundation to carry out a photographic work about United States. Frank will travel the length and breadth of the country, touching 48 different states between 1955 and 1956. The streets, the faces of the people he meets, the city squares, the bars and shops, the sidewalks, the most insignificant details pass and stop in front of the photographer’s lens. The result will be “The Americans”, a book that consecrates its author as a master in the history of photography. The volume represents a true “poem in images” dedicated to the American road (it’s no coincidence that the preface of the book was entrusted to Jack Kerouac); a reportage that, like few others, has truly marked an era, becoming for generations of photographers the main reference for taking pictures and travel, to know and learn with a glance. This image, among many featured in the book, was taken in Idaho.
Maybe the most emblematic image took by African-American photographer Gordon Parks. It was taken in Alabama, in 1956, in front of a shopping mall. First African-American contributor to Life magazine, Parks told the world how was being black in a racist society. His photos are famous for their powerful cinematic style and for his ability to tell the story of a community through the eyes of someone who knows its difficulties.
Is asking strangers for a portrait so dreadful? Probably not, according to a lot of photographers that usually do Street Portraits in their life. I always felt a fascination for people and when I see a project based on portraits of strangers met on the street, I dream to do something like that. I think often about my photography and how can improve myself, so a few days ago I asked a question to FlakPhoto Network on Facebook: