As you know the photo is great power to influence people’s mind. Picture can change perception, social, political position and even identity. I want to talk about most popular and influential documentary photo that changed the world. It would be hard to imagine a technology that had more impact on 20th century life than photography: the automobile, the airplane, nuclear power, all of these were higher profile than photography, yet in day-to-day terms, photography was truly the most pervasive. First I`d like to tell some facts about photo journalism.
It is a particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story. As for me documentary photography is similar to photojournalism. Documentary photography generally relates to longer term projects with a more complex story line, while photojournalism concerns more breaking news stories. There is a final branch of photography directly related to popular social life, and that is documentary photography. Documentary projects generally focus on social reality and human life, informed by the strong feelings of the photographer.
They are photographs with a point of view, focusing not just on events, but on the daily texture of life of their subjects. Many reformist projects in the earlier years of the 20th century were documents of disadvantaged social groups in dire straits, poverty, and cultural alienation. But projects toward the end of the century have tended to be more personal to the photographers, sometimes documenting the photographer’s own social group and concerns. People love pictures. Text without pictures is boring to the mass audience.
Drawings and engravings had been used in newspapers and magazines for a long time. As early as the Crimean War in the mid-19th century, photographers were using the novel technology of the box camera to record images of British soldiers in the field. However, the widespread use of cameras as a way of reporting news did not come until the advent of smaller, more portable cameras that used the enlargeable film negative to record images. The introduction of the 35 mm Leica camera in the 1930s made it possible for photographers to move with the action, taking shots of events as they were unfolding.
I`d like to present photo in a in chronological order. In 1908 photographer Lewis Hine was hired by the National Child Labor Committee. He traveled across states, capturing images of children working in mines, mills and on the streets. Here he has photographed “breaker boys,” whose job was to separate coal from slate, in South Pittston, Pa. this photo was one of the factors that influenced the adoption of laws prohibiting child labor. The photograph depicts 11 men eating lunch, seated on a girder with their feet dangling hundreds of feet above the New York City streets.
Ebbets took the photo on September 29, 1932, and it appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in its Sunday photo supplement on October 2. The photo was taken during construction of the GE Building at Rockefeller Center and it is named “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”. Photo was taken by Dorothea Lange in 1936. This California farmworker, age 32, had just sold her tent and the tires off her car to buy food for her seven kids. The family was living on scavenged vegetables and wild birds. This work helped convince the public and the government of the need to help farmers.
Lange later said that this woman, whose name she did not ask, “seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. ” Thanks to the power of images, the explosion of the Hindenburg in 1937, claims to be biggest disaster of the 20th century. In fact, it wasn’t even the worst Zeppelin crash of the 20th century. Of the 97 people aboard, a surprising 62 survived. The incident effectively killed the use of dirigibles as a commercially viable mode of passenger transport, ending the golden age of the airship not with a whimper, but with a horrific bang that was photographed and then spread around the globe.
Of course you know this photo. Soviet Union soldiers raising the flag on the roof of Reichstag building in Berlin in May, 1945. Photo was taken by a Red Army photographer Yevgeny Khaldei. Later took photographs of the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials. It is a sad story, because famous photographer, that took such a powerful photo for Soviet Union ideology, was fired in 1947 because he was a Jew. Americans also have their national flag rising. The battle was the first American attack on the Japanese Home Islands.
It was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal in 1945. On August 14, 1945 Alfred Eisenstaedt took this photo on Times Square. It is named “Victory over Japan Day” or “The Kiss”. That portrays an American sailor kissing a woman in a white dress. The image remains an enduring symbol of America’s exuberance at the end of a long struggle. Racial segregation is the separation of different racial groups in daily life activities, such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a washroom, attending school, going to the movies, or urchasing a home. The picture shows a man drinking from a segregated water fountain. The photo was taken in 1950 by Elliot Erwitt. June 11, 1963 a Buddhist monk from Vietnam, burned himself to death in downtown in Saigon to bring attention to the repressive policies of the regime. Buddhist monks asked the regime to lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag, to grant Buddhism the same rights as Catholicism and to give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion. While burning monk never moved a muscle.
After capturing and executing Che in 1967, before bury him in a secret tomb, the executioners made a group photo with the body, to demonstrate the people that EL GRAN CHE is dead. The picture actually made him a legend, his admirers said he had a forgiving look on his face and compared him with Jesus. On this famous photo South Vietnam’s national police chief pulls out his pistol and executes a Vietcong captain with a single shot to the head. It instantly became an icon of the war’s savagery. But it is not so simple.
The man being shot was the captain of a Vietcong “revenge squad” that had executed dozens of unarmed civilians earlier the same day. A photograph, named “The Agony of Omayra Sanchez” was taken by Frank Fournier in 1985. She was one of the 25,000 victims of volcano which erupted in Columbia on November 14, 1985. Girl had been trapped in water and concrete for 3 days. The picture was taken shortly before she died. Photo has caused many discussions about ethics rules of Documentary Photograph. Steve McCurry took this photo in refugee camp in Afghanistan.
Girl was orphaned during the Soviet Union’s bombing of Afghanistan and sent to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984. Her village was attacked by Soviet helicopter gunships. The image of her face, with a red scarf draped loosely over her head and with her piercing sea-green eyes staring directly into the camera, became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the refugee situation worldwide. This is probably the most famous picture you know. This is the picture of a student who tries to stop the tanks in Tiananmen Square standing in front of them.
The tank driver didn’t crush the man with the bags but shortly after, the square filled with blood. The photo showed the Chinese that there is hope. However, China is still controlled by a communist regime. The photo is the “Pulitzer Prize” winning photo taken in 1994 during the Sudan Famine. The picture depicts stricken child crawling towards an United Nations food camp, located a kilometer away. The vulture is waiting for the child to die so that it can eat him. This picture shocked the whole world.
No one knows what happened to the child, including the photographer Kevin Carter who left the place as soon as the photograph was taken. Three months later he committed suicide due to depression. I do not offer photos of the last few years, because I do not have enough time. And it is too early to talk about the fact that they changed the world. I will show you only one. This photo depicting Jewish woman defying Israeli security forces as they remove illegal settlers in the West Bank of Jordan river. My selection of photos is subjective, you can easily disagree with me.
But the format of the report (informative speech) saves me from criticism. Conclusion So as a conclusion I want to say that as for me photo is the most powerful media tool in XX th century. And now, in the Internet epoch, we are reposting photos all the time. Documentary photo has its own tradition, its own rules, their own code of ethics. Sometimes it is on the edge of social morality. Almost all shown pictures somehow influenced the course of history. Some of them were used by ideological regimes. Another part of them became public. But in the 21st century we know and remember them.
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