Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nohman Sakhi AS 5420 6:30-8:10

   Lewis W. Hine
Brief Biography:

Lewis W. Hine was a man who dedicated his life to using photography for good  reasons. He was born in 1874 and passed away in 1940. In addition to his short teaching career, Lewis W. Hines was associated with reform groups that helped improve housing and working conditions in American cities and factories. He also worked with government agencies such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and the National Research Project of the Works Progress Administration.


"Hine's aim was not so much to shock a passive audience into fear and indignation; instead, he wished to show working people in their environments in a more detached and objective manner. Social photography was for him an educational process; a picture was a piece of evidence, a record of social injustice, but also of individual human beings surviving with dignity in intolerable conditions."


Basically, this quote stood out to me because it summaries the type of person he was in relation to photography. He wanted to educate the public as oppose to instill fear in them. Lewis Hine wanted to fix these issues of poor working conditions and child labor injustices. He wanted the public to not be ignorant of these realities and have sympathy for them. His ultimate goal was to show the American people that it was time for this to change.

Lewis Hine's photograph


"...School children starting out 5 a.m. to peddle and going again after school and all day Saturday and Sunday..."


This quote explains what Lewis Hine was trying to reveal through his photography. The picture above shows a group of children who were overworked and oppressed. In my opinion, the cycle that these children went through on a daily basis was exhausting and improper.


"In fact, it is often more effective than the reality would have been, because, in the picture, the non-essential and conflicting interests have been eliminated. The picture is the language of all nationalities and all ages."


You do not have to literate or speak the language of English to understand what a picture shows.  The picture below is one of Hine's photographs that show a child after working.

                                                           Last Quote I'd like to End on

"The average person believes implicitly that the photograph cannot falsify. Of course, you and I know that this unbounded faith in the integrity of the photograph is often rudely shaken, for, while photographs may not lie, liars may photograph." — Lewis Hine


Lewis Hine was trying to say that although a photograph doesn't lie, someone can take a picture and make up a story behind it. (yellow photography)

More of Lewis Hine's Work


The Ruling Power reading packet, Social Photography. Pages 109-113.

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