HW #6

From reading the short biography on Dorothea Lange, I can tell her work was meant to impact change. When I look at the ‘White Angel Breadline’ photo the first thing I feel is clustered and uncomfortable. All the dark colored clothing makes the black & white photo feel so gloomy. The thing that stands out the most is the one man facing the camera while all the other people have their backs are towards it. Even though you can’t see his whole face, you can tell he has a heavy sadness. Considering that this is the great depression, that totally understandable. Another thing I noticed about the photo is that he was wasn’t perfectly centered in it, so it gives of and unbalanced feeling. This further reinforces the uncomfortable feeling.

In the photograph, the ‘Migrant Mother’, I see a worried woman surround by two of her children. In the photo, the woman is looking into the distance, probably worrying how she’s going to take care of her children during the great depression. One compositional element I notice is that it’s a medium shot. Its close enough that you can see the sadness in her face and far enough to notice the details around her. Another element I notice is balanced it seems with her directly in the middle with a child on each side. It almost feels like she’s trying to balance the weight of the world on her shoulders.

These two photos show how depressing and sad the great depression was. But honestly one is more effective than the other. In the first one you can clearly see the people are better dressed than the one of the Migrant Mother and her children. Even though the photo affected the subject life, I think her photo really did its job and brought attention to the issues migrant workers were facing. These photos also really show me how blessed I am. And it makes me hope that things don’t get as bad as things were in the great depression.

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1 Response to HW #6

  1. rmichals says:

    You describe the photos well. In the last paragraph though I asked you to address the problem that the subject of the Migrant Mother – Florence Thompson – did not like being a symbol and regretted the photos wide distribution. Was it worth the good the photo did to essentially violate the privacy of Florence Thompson?

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