By Mike Lander on
The images selected for the “Best of DPI – Spring 2016” were based on viewers’ selections. A wide range of documentary images cover life in America during the Great Depression. Several of these photos are in the same style of some of the most influential photographers in American history.
In particular, “Shopkeeper”, taken by an unknown photographer, closely resembles the work of Dorothea Lange especially when compared to her “Ditched, Stalled and Stranded” photo taken of migrants in the San Joaquin Valley, California (1936). Likewise, “Coming to America” could be confused with the work of Jacob Riis although it was also taken by an unknown photographer. “Italian Mother and Child” (1890) by Riis is similar in style in an earlier period.
It seems fair to say that those photos chosen by our viewers generally depict people taken at close range. Viewers seem to prefer images where the person(s) are clearly seen. This analysis tends to confirm George C. Tilyou’s conclusion that people would gladly pay money for the privilege of watching other people. Perhaps there is a bit of voyeurism in all of us. Tilyou, of course, was the founder of Steeplechase Park in Coney Island.