Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts from the ‘Dispatch On Assignment’ category

France c.1949

FRENCH PEASANT FARMERS

A photo that we had to have but almost didn’t. The classic nature of this image was one that we had to have. It was mailed to us from Paris the old fashioned way in an envelope. But the envelope was addressed to us as Etats-Unis which is French for United States. The photo took six weeks to arrive. I doubt that the French postal officials had and problems with the address, but unfortunately it would seem that ours do not speak French. C’est domage.

French Peasant Farmers” c.1949

Marseille, France (1956)

CHÂTEAU d’IF

Perhaps the ultimate in prisons except for Devil’s Island in what used to be French Guiana was “Château d’If” off the coast of Marseille, France. Prisoners were arranged by class with the poorest sent to the dungeons. Immortalized by Alexandre Dumas in his novel The Count of Monte Cristo concerning the imprisonment of Edmond Dantès. The prison, now a museum, is seen here in 1956. Clearly, Alcatraz was patterned after Château d’If.

Port of Spain, Trinidad c. January 1942

THE REBELLION

We acquired this photo without any accompanying documentation. Our initial conclusions regarding time and place were completely wrong. Only after we did our homework were we able to make a final assessment. We assess that this photo was taken in Port of Spain, Trinidad c. January 1942 following reaction to local labor issues which were compounded by British colonial policies in which the population did not receive adequate representation. Sound familiar?

The Rebellion“; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago c. January 1942

 

China c.1918

THE CHINESE FARMER

Sometimes good things come in small packages. While small in terms of pixel size, “Chinese Farmer” – China c.1918 is rich in its message. As you may know my field is International Relations. I cannot defend the policies of Communist China nor that of the PLA. But I will say that to understand some of the current actions taken by  Communist China you really need to study the history of China. If you truly understand their past it will greatly help in comprehending their actions vs. Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Bamboo Man

BAMBOO MAN

Here is a fine example of an occupational portrait: “Bamboo Man“; China/Malaysia? (March 9, 1961). We know the date but are unsure of the exact location. It is the occupational portrait rather than a studio or otherwise sterile portrait that gives meaning to the image. Showing the subject in his/her natural habitat so to speak.

Snake Charmer

SNAKES AND ALLIGATORS

You can’t make this stuff up. I’m sure that late night television will have a field day with this insanity. We have argued quite seriously in previous blogs that walls don’t work. History has proven this. If a wall on our southern border were to be constructed it would soon be breached one way or another so the Administration would have to take further measures. Perhaps guard towers with machine guns? How about a mine field? Why stop there? Create a demilitarized zone and thence a buffer zone. The absurdity is the product of disturbed thinking. The Statue of Liberty would be weeping if it is not already. This is not who we are as a people.

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Sete, France (1968)

SETE, FRANCE (1968)

Approximately 15 miles southwest of Montpellier, France along the Mediterranean coast is Sete. The scene, “Sete, France (1968)“, screams French fishing village, and is easily identifiable as such as would be a photo of the Eiffel Tower. An invisible, diagonal line draws attention to the interaction between the dock worker on the left of the photo and the two men on the right. A classic photo in any conversation. The fact that these men are seen in primarily silhouette adds to the mystery of the scene.