Today there is great concern among some of us about the deluge of undocumented immigrants at our southern border and the resettlement of these migrants throughout the land. This is nativist thinking in my opinion. These immigrants are refugees just as many of the “natives” ancestors were a long time ago. If you believe in nothing more than a market economy, forgetting all moral issues for a moment, these newcomers will be fueling our economy with the purchases they make in the future with everything from toothpaste to automobiles. All they need is a temporary helping hand. Remember that during the Great Depression many native born people were refugees in our own land. “The Migrant Camp“; California (August 1932).
Just one great photo. The longer I look at it the more I appreciate it, and I see things that I missed earlier. Honestly, I did not see the man covered in mud bending down by the rear tire as if camouflaged. “Stuck in the Mud“; California, 1938.
O. K. I get it. The virus is like carbon monoxide. Invisible, colorless, oderless. Why should I wear a mask? Some people are just non-believers in science. Thrill seekers. These folks just have to look over the edge at the precipice in California despite the warning sign. Can we assume they they are illiterate? That they cannot understand the meaning of the word danger? I think not. So for varied reasons not everyone will wear a mask despite the overwhelming evidence that wearing a mask will save lives, maybe even their own.
“Danger“; California c.1990
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love….” Thank you Jackie DeShannon. Now more than ever in my opinion. “Young Lovers“; Balboa Beach and Newport Beach, California (July 4, 1922).
A view of Fresno, California as victim of hard times during the Great Depression. These images were taken in February 1986. You have to wonder if the phone line at the “Cafe” is still working. See the collection at “Fresno“. Selling “tubs” (sic) for $1.00 at the gas station may have contributed to its downfall.
See the movie “Into The Wild” (2007), the true story of Christopher McCandless. DPI’s “Into The Wild” was taken in Calexico, California (August 18, 2002). Bus appears to be adjacent to the border wall. License plate is from 1983 so the bus has been out of service for some time.
What is the significance, after all, of street photography if it does not provide society with a record of important moments captured for the historical record? Ahh, “the decisive moment” as Henri Cartier-Bresson would say. Well, here we may have just one of those significant, historical moments frozen in time by a talented street photographer.
The locale is San Francisco in sight of the ferry terminal building: “San Francisco Ferry Terminal” (1914). The date has been changed on the tower to 1915, but we are still in 1914 as these two men are in conversation on the street. Other men stand at the ready next to an automobile. Perhaps one or both of these men are very important? Perhaps they are discussing news of the Great War unfolding in Europe? In any case, a fine example of street photography proving that if you are serious about this craft it is necessary to always have your camera at the ready.
On another note, DPI is proud to announce that we have been listed at #40 of the top 50 photojournalism and blog sites by photojournalists for 2018 by Feedspot (https://blog.feedspot.com/photojournalism_blogs/).
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).
Photojournalists, this is clearly directed at you! Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the phrase “the decisive moment” as to mean the precise moment to trip the shutter in order to capture the essence of a scene. This photo, “Santa Cruz Flood”; Santa Cruz, California (February 9, 1941) would be representative of Cartier-Bresson’s argument.
If the dam does not hold a 30′ high wall of water will sweep into Oroville, California. Oroville will become our Pompeii. The old prospector leading his “Conestoga Wagon“; California c.1941 placed a sign on it that reads “Here Comes Orville”. The photo, taken in California, has come to us at this critical time. Any connection between Orville and the city of Oroville is purely coincidental.