The Outstanding Social Photographer: Lewis W. Hine

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by coreduo, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. coreduo

    coreduo TPF Noob!

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    Seldom were our forefathers attracted to politically or socially motivated photographs. Inspite of political and economic reforms of the New Deal that made present employment almost effortless, social photographers to whom modern generation owes outstanding commendations were not hailed as icons of American social history. Social history was not a lucrative subject. Teenagers and adults would rather live in drunken if not inebriated stupor and enjoy watching live bands while dancing to their tunes during the 1920s to 30s.

    But one benevolent photographer differed from them all-and only one among two or three. His name is Lewis W. Hine. He was also discriminated by peers.

    I was appalled by the fact that social photographers were pariahs in factories. Literally thrown out in the streets by management and their unscrupulous scabs who reacted with increased violence and hostility, unwilling to accept the existence and proliferation of premature workers and the underpaid, they were not given their due.


    ‘Lewis W. Hine whose approach was both political and artistic paid immensely for his contribution to social photography. He definitely was not an apologist for corporate America. The label “social documentary photographer” did not obscure his contributions as a photojournalist. He was the penultimate genius whose later years were glorious. But there is one thing in Lewis that made him stand out from the crowd: Inspite of the bumpy road of his postwar methodology which was rare, he combined an Old World (that is, post-Victorian) moral sensibility with a modernist’s eye for translating quotidian experience into transcendental imagery.’

    Bibliography: Photo Story
    Selected Letters and Photographs of Lewis W. Hine, Edited by Daile Kaplan
    Foreword by Berennice Abbott
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the post Hine was a master to say the least. A champion of social change that is often forgotten these daze.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you think he was a pariah because he would damage the status quo? I feel like there are certain environments where a photographer isn't welcome because people just assume not know about what is happening. A modern day parallel might be the food industry, where people actually don't want to see photographs of where their food comes from, because it would rob them of their appetite for cheap, industrialized foods.

    Also, do you have a link to the photographers work you could post for others?
     
  4. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    "Seldom were our forefathers attracted to politically or socially motivated photographs. Inspite of political and economic reforms of the New Deal that made present employment almost effortless, social photographers to whom modern generation owes outstanding commendations were not hailed as icons of American social history. Social history was not a lucrative subject. Teenagers and adults would rather live in drunken if not inebriated stupor and enjoy watching live bands while dancing to their tunes during the 1920s to 30s."

    Strange but I can remember a lot of wonderful photographs, and photographers, from the Depression era and before. Perhaps you should focus more on photography and less on politics.
     
  5. coreduo

    coreduo TPF Noob!

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    Social photography was a conduit of the oppressed to air valid grievances (labor grievances). If not for this kind of photography, there would be no increases in minimum wages on whom we attribute to left-liberals, socialists and communists. History has proven that without lobbyings by these organizations, the Conservative Party of USA would never succumb to increases in minimum wage through legislation. C'mon guys, there are some things worth denying but there are also some worth accepting.
     
  6. Guido44

    Guido44 TPF Noob!

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    Images Images. We need images.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for posting this vid Dan.

    Love & Bass
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    there is a wonderful video of Hines and his work. You have probably seen many of his images in textbooks.

    i believe the video is called America and Lewis Hines
     
  9. coreduo

    coreduo TPF Noob!

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    Amazing!
     
  10. amndacatr

    amndacatr TPF Noob!

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    That's something amazing that I came across from here. It seems that Hines was the revolutionist who brought about a massive change in the way people looked at the photographers after that and people started to take this as a noble profession. This has indeed paved the path and provided the employment to many young aspirants and make their mark in this field. My salutations to the great man!!
     
  11. aprillove20

    aprillove20 TPF Noob!

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    I agree with coredou...
     

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