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W Eugene Smith - an overlooked craftsman?

Discussion in 'Web Sites of Interest' started by Footloose, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Whilst contributing something for another website, I rediscovered the work of W Eugene Smith; an amazingly dedicated photographer, who i get the impression went to a lot of trouble to show things as they really were, and yet highly respected the wishes of those he photographed. An example of this being the removal from circulation and publication, probably the most famous and harrowing photograph he took, called 'Tomoko is bathed by her Mother' showing the effects of Minamata disease in Japan. The copyright of these photographs was subsequently transferred to the family by Smith's ex-wife so they had absolute control over their use.


    He gave very few interviews, but I have managed to track down one of these, which is very enlightening and well-worth reading.


    He probably still is considered the 'master' of the photo-essay style of photojornalism, and I suppose I'm just amazed that whilst street photography and it's variants, has such a huge following, his work is rarely mentioned. Could this be because he controlled and applied a lot more restrictive conditions regarding how his images were published, than other photographers do?


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