Rant - Opinion: January 2005 Archives

Three photographers immediately come to mind when I think of the intersection of documentary photography, fine art photography, and photojournalism.

  • Dorothea Lange
  • William Eggleston
  • W. Eugene Smith

What I enjoy about all of them is that they managed to capture the ordinariness of everyday life. Lange gave poverty a face; Eggleston focused on the beautiful banality of suburban and urban modernity; Smith on the heroic nature of daily existence. They do with film what anthropologists try to do with words.

One of my friends, documentary photography Wing Young Huie, was strongly influenced by Eggleston. You can this in his work on Frogtown (a neighborhood in Saint Paul MN) or Lake Street in Minneapolis. One major difference is that Eggleston works in color and Huie in B&W (mostly). Eggleston's influence is much more apparent in Huie's latest work on Chinese-Americans and ethnicity in the United States, post-911.

Nan Goldin also seems to fit in this list, but I have never found warmth in her photographs. They are devoid of humanity. I think this gestalt is what makes them appealing to many, but it is not why I photograph.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Rant - Opinion category from January 2005.

Rant - Opinion: March 2005 is the next archive.

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