At first glance you may not realize the significance of this image. We see a man on a staircase overlooking a railing. Only when we discover that the location is San Sebastián, Spain does the picture become clearer. This is Basque Country and the Basques are treated like second class citizens. Recently, the Basques have voted for independence only to be denied once again by the ruling Spanish government. When we observe the poverty surrounding the man in this image, “The Basques” c.1933, we begin to understand the reason for the Basque separatist movement.
The most recent addition to our Atlantic City collection is “Atlantic City Boardwalk“. This was a souvenir photo taken by the G. Dobkin Studio in Atlantic City for the gentlemen shown walking on the boardwalk. For us at DPI the remaining question is how accurate can we be in placing the exact location and date of the photo?
This proved to be relatively straightforward. A good starting point would be to argue that the date of the photo is approximately 1940 based upon the dress of the people. Although slightly out of focus the Stanley Theater is still visible. The theater was located at Kentucky Avenue and the boardwalk. What is more difficult but not impossible to determine is the listing on the theater marquee. Careful examination reveals a movie starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. The movie is “Notorious” so we can conclude that the date of the photo coincides with the release of this film, August 1946. Assuming that this is not a rerun, of course.
Inspired by the iconic image, “Migrant Mother”, taken by Dorothea Lange in Nipomo, California (1936), we present “Log Cabin Mother“; Appalachia c.1918. Whenever we make a humble attempt to compare any of our images to those taken by master photojournalists from the past, we do so with the intent to keep their spirits alive for all of us and as an homage to their contribution to documentary photography. See the back story on Florence Owens Thompson (Migrant Mother).
To close out our blogs for February we bring you a February event from the past. Here is something that you will not see too often. The eruption of Eldfell Volcano on an island off the southwest coast of Iceland bought out firemen in a “Lava Cooling Operation“; Heimaey, Iceland (February 7, 1973) in an attempt to try and stem the flow of the threatening lava. DPI pays homage to the great, Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado as we believe that this photo represents his style of work. In this photo firemen are spraying seawater on the steaming lava.
Photo editors know that one way to locate images is to do a search on Google Images. Realistically, with millions of images out there it is only possible to display several hundred at most on a search of Google Images. Having a high page ranking with Google is not a bad thing, but I am afraid that if you limit your search to only Google you would probably miss a great deal. As Ferris Bueller would say, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.”
Following in a long line of western lawmen stands this “Lawman a/k/a The Marshal“; Plainville, Kansas (1920). This is the companion photo to “House Auction” which has previously been published by DPI. What is most interesting is that Plainville is quite near to Dodge City, Kansas. You have to wonder if he was ever in a gunfight.
Long Island, New York (1988). High School Super Bowl wannabees. If they play well the scouts will notice. The dream starts here. Then again, “The Four Horsemen“; U. S. (1924) might disagree.
Listen to DPI’s live radio broadcast of January 20 on our Facebook page: https://facebook.com/dispatchpressimages. Also available on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dispatchpress. Follow the instructions. Our thanks go out to Alan Diskin for giving us the opportunity to reach his listeners on “Radio Rewound” and to the staff at WETR.
Great photojournalism illuminates injustice and moves people to action. “Baby in a Basket of Cotton“, Virginia c.1920 is a disturbing cotton plantation scene in its own right. The image is symbolic of the hardships encountered in the time of slavery, Jim Crow, sharecropping and tenant farming. But this little girl, too young to walk, appears to be the victim of child abuse as she has welts on her face by each of her eyes. What possible crime could she have committed to deserve this treatment?
DPI announces a new feature on our Facebook page. We have created a discussion group/forum designed to answer questions related to photography and/or Dispatch Press Images. This is a public group so virtually any postings are possible including photos. We encourage our viewers to participate. Simply click on “Visit Group” or go to “Groups” to access the Mailbag.