Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts from the ‘Documentary’ category

U. S. c.1934


Welcome to a brand new year! Worried about inflation? The time to worry about inflation is if it were to turn into hyperinflation such as seen in Weimar Germany following World War I. The opposite of inflation is deflation as we can see in the photo “The Coffee Shop“; U. S. c.1934 during the Great Depression. Lunch for 25 cents! But few people had the 25 cents. You don’t want to see that now do you? Then there was 25% unemployment. Today, everyone is hiring but many jobs have no applicants. Inflation? We can handle it!

Pennsylvania, c.1916


Wow! What a spectacular farm photo. But is this one of those photos that blurs the line between documentary and creative? I tend to think so. Great wall art for sure. A photo that could almost pass for a painting. “The Tin Lizzy“; Pennsylvania, c.1916. Not much left of this Model T, but the message would be entirely different if it had been in great shape.

February 1944


Photojournalistic and documentary images by their very nature are taken under uncertain conditions. They are designed to tell a story, and not necessarily to be works of art. Every once in a while such a photo crosses this blood/brain barrier, if you will, and creates an image worthy of display in a gallery. “Gapstow Bridge in Central Park“; Manhattan, NYC (February 1944) is such an image. As luck would have it I actually have a similar image done as a painting in wintertime hanging in my home. Naturally, this photo caught my eye. Life during wartime no less. Based on Central Park weather records we can almost pin down the exact day of the month that this photo was taken. At the very least we can eliminate dates which do not fit the scene.

Lansing, Michigan (April 22, 1929)


Dangerous work. A cofferdam gave way and five workers were killed and another two were injured.  If you look closely you can see a law enforcement officer on either side of the bridge. Notice the pistol on their hip. This photo was taken 10 days after the collapse by Lent. Date of the collapse was April 12, 1929 during the construction over the Grand River in Lansing, Michigan.

Collapse of the South Logan Street Bridge“; Lansing, Michigan (April 22, 1929).

Mont-Saint-Michel, France (1933)


Many creative images of Mont-Saint-Michel in France are available in beautiful colors, but not from DPI. Our style is more concerned with the photojournalism/documentary aspect than in the creative. Having said that we present our take on Mont-Saint-Michel from 1933. A unique viewpoint on the abbey in our opinion.

Small Town, U. S. A. c.1949

SMALL TOWN, U. S. A. c.1949

It happened over 50 years ago yet the images remain clear in my mind’s eye. It was during my military service. I had just completed basic training at Ft. Gordon in Atlanta, Georgia and was on my way by train to my next duty station in Baltimore, Maryland. The trip took about two days as I remember. A very slow moving train through mostly the backyards of the people living in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. If you truly want to understand rural America take a train ride. Do not go by automobile as you will only see what the towns want you to see. I think that the song “City of New Orleans” by Arlo Guthrie comes closest to the mark. Pay attention to the lyrics. “…graveyards of the rusted automobiles”. “Freight yards full of old, black men.” Throw in the assorted junk in backyards and the clotheslines and you have a pretty good idea of what I witnessed. Poverty, plain and simple. I must have left Augusta on April 2, 1968 if the trip took two days, as I arrived in Baltimore on the same day of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tough day. The toughest. “Small Town, U. S. A. c.1949” was the typical sight as my train rolled through one town after another. Note the building signs: Furnished Rooms, Dr. Pepper and Plaza Grill. You can’t see this from driving through on Main Street.

La Palma, Canary Islands c.1900


And so it has come to pass, the eruption of the volcano, Cumbre Vieja, on La Palma. Lava continues to flow and there are earthquakes. Follow here for latest updates. The question on everyone’s mind is will the long feared tsunami actually occur? Not much we can do about it except give some warning time if the worst happens. This photo shows a peaceful La Palma c.1900. Cumbre Vieja is seen in the distance to the right.


A look at the struggle of Egyptian cotton workers during the Great Depression. The sack of cotton weighed 120 lbs. Workers were paid the equivalent of 10 cents/day. In today’s economy it does not sound like a living wage, but during the Great Depression salaries in the U.S. were only a few dollars/day. In that sense it was probably just a living wage for these cotton workers.

Marseille, France (1956)


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.