Unit 5- The Story Behind a Photo


Dorothea Lange

I don’t know that this is really an assignment, but I’m just going to do everything I think might be an assignment so as to not miss anything. As such I’m going to respond to the questions at the end of this section, vague as they are. First, if Dorothea Lange has has access to blogging technology, and much as that seems like it would be helpful, her inadvertent salvation of these destitute farmers might not have occurred. Even if she had millions of followers, if she posted her photo on a blog that is updated daily and full of such photos, its might not have had the same resonance as it did in real life. Certainly if she had had a place to blog, she could have gone in-depth with the stories of everyone she encountered, and really given a complex and informative description of the circumstances of their lives. But in so doing, she could well have deprived her now iconic photo of the representational value it had, and thus deprived it of much of its effectiveness in inspiring change and action for these disadvantaged people.

To answer the second question, like, obviously. Whether you mean the chemical process my which the photo is captured and later developed, or the technical and stylistic setup and execution of getting the photo, or the underlying meaning or pathos (there’s an -ology word I want to use here that I just took a ten minute break to google but still can’t remember) or story of a photo, its context, there’s always something more to a photo than a photo.

Also if the DS106 webmaster (is that still a term?) is looking I would definitely accept an hourly wage to copy edit these pages.


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