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Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field
by Anne Whiston Spirn (Goodreads Author)
Daring to Look presents never-before-published photos and captions from Dorothea Lange’s fieldwork in California, the Pacific Northwest, and North Carolina during 1939. Lange’s images of squatter camps, benighted farmers, and stark landscapes are stunning, and her captions—which range from simple explanations of settings to historical notes and biographical sketches—add un ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by University Of Chicago Press
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Overlooked for years, this book finally pairs Dorothea Lange's incredible photography with her field notes. As she worked for the WPA during the 1930s, part of her job was to talk to and gather notes about what she was seeing. Although her photos tell important tales, her words truly reflect how she was able to connect with the people she met and preserve their stories for decades.
Spirn is an amazing author, she tries to understand her subjects from within their own skin. Lange is not one of may favorite photographers from an aesthetic perspective, she shares the lack of subtlety more typical of one generation earlier. She is, however, one of my heroes. This book will help you to understand why the ambivalence
The stunning photography by Dorothea Lange tells a story of hard times. While I greatly enjoyed the whole book, especially the Dorothea's photographs, for me the most valuable section was Part Three:Then and Now. Anne Whiston Spirn uses her images, taken in 2006, to represent her own vision of the area Lange explored in 1939. Reading about how much the landscape has changed but the struggles haven't was absolutely heartbreaking. Of utmost interest is a section about her time with Richard White, ...more
The photos in this book are stunning and paint a dramatic portrait of the people and times in 1939. I was especially drawn to Lange's notes, which she took in the field, and to her approach in meeting people, enabling them to let their guards down and capturing images that show her subjects' emotions and surroundings. It's providing great inspiration and insight for my current novel-in-progress set in the 1930s.
Her pictures are timeless and of people we normally don't get to see in photographs. The lives of impoverished people in black and white photographs is powerful. There are some images that will stay with me forever. I enjoyed reading her prose about her photographs and seeing comments of the people in the pictures in their own words.
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