Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts from the ‘Documentary’ category

"Sandbags", c.1940


Pray for the victims of Hurricane Florence. We are, all of us, in this together. Today, residents in the Carolinas are suffering, but tomorrow disaster could befall anyone. Do whatever you can to help. Staying silent is not acceptable. The lead photo is not from Hurricane Florence of course, but it does demonstrate the vulnerability of living near flowing water. That includes just about all of us. We call this photo “Sandbags“; U. S. c.1940. As the river is rising will the sandbags hold?

Holbrook, N. Y.  (August 23, 2018).


Am I my brother’s keeper? You can turn away if you choose, but to become homeless with all that comes with it is only a paycheck away for many. Unfortunately.  Desperate times require desperate measures. The lead photo we call “Feed the Children“; Holbrook, N. Y. (August 23, 2018). This is not about feeding children in a developing country. This is reality on Long Island.

Seen below is a cry for help from a person we choose to leave anonymous, “Rough Times“; Deer Park, N. Y. (September 6, 2018). We could have easily put a face on this situation, but I believe that sometimes an image can be even more powerful without including an individual. Judgment on the individual would be open for discussion. Without a face, the image represents all homeless people and so the magnitude of the problem is multiplied exponentially.

Deer Park, N. Y. (September 6, 2018).

Deer Park, N. Y. (September 6, 2018).

Farmer Walks Away


Breaking the rules can be fun. Sometimes what is left unsaid can make more of a statement than what would otherwise be obvious. Take the case of the lead photo, “Farmer Walks Away“; U. S. c.1933 (sepia added). We can only wonder what is going through this farmer’s mind as he walks through his barren field. Imagine the effect the image would have had he been facing the camera. Depending on his expression the difference might be subtle or create a completely alternate setting.

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"Roughnecks"; Texas c.1919


Inspiration for this image has been the work of the great Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado. We hope that he would approve. These oil men, (“Roughnecks“; Texas c.1919), are covered in oil as the well proves to be a gusher. Note the oil spray coming off the drill

Pont Alexander III


A scene from a spy thriller or just a gentleman smoking his pipe overlooking the Seine? Imagine the effect of this photo if the pipe was absent. Such a small section of the photo, if missing, would have such a large effect on the overall mood. Perhaps this man was thinking about the future of France as Hitler was consolidating his power in Germany? This photo comes to us from a contributor in Bulgaria.

May the Force be with you.


May the Force be with you. I wanna be a Spaceman. Will our Starship Troopers be similarly outfitted? Hey, it’s a bug planet! A little humor in times like these may help. Probably inspired by Flash Gordon, but that may be going back too far for some of you. Sometimes I wish that they could just beam me up, Scotty.

United States c.1926


Freedom of Speech“; U. S. c.1926. Sometimes it is difficult to analyze the situation in an image in the absence of definitive clues. It is clear that these three men are proud of their accomplishment. For us, it recalls the “Freedom of Speech” painting by Norman Rockwell used as an illustration for an article in the Saturday Evening Post published on February 21, 1943 seen below. Four articles appeared the the magazine that year each one illuminating FDR’s Four Freedoms speech.

Painting by Norman Rockwell used on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post (February 21, 1943).

Painting by Norman Rockwell used on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post (February 21, 1943).

Spraying a soybean field. (Illinois c.1950)


If you are a farmer that is the word for the day. Soybeans! Stupid Trade War. Stupid tariffs. There are other ways to attend to balance of payments issues, but the explanation would be lost on current administration officials. Perhaps they are something less than the “best people”.

The lead photo, “Crop Duster“; Illinois c.1950 takes DPI into this conversation as a soybean field gets sprayed. We combine text with images for our viewers. Repeating the mistakes of the past are worse than foolish. Farmers, especially, should be overly sensitive to government policies which do not work and have not worked in the past, as well as to disinformation purported by ignorant officials.

As the farmer ducks out of the way of the “Crop Duster Coming Head On“; Illinois c.1950, the famous scene in “North By Northwest” (1959) starring Cary Grant comes to mind.

Crop Duster Coming Head On