The Purposeful Power of Photos

Photos are everywhere. From snapshots, to school pictures, to glossy magazine spreads, we have seen images in almost every context of life for our entire lives, often not stopping to think about how those images came to appear on the page and what made that possible: the camera. I want to research the effect that photos have had on society since the development of the camera. I wonder why photos even resonate with us and exactly what aspects in an image are so enthralling that we remember them forever. Why do certain picture touch us, make us shift our point of view, or even inspire us to act? I want to learn why photos even matter, and why and how their purposeful power can affect their viewers.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Genre 5: Pea-Picker Camp Stockroom Food Inventory

In March, 1936, a photographer named Dorothea Lange took a series of photographs of a migrant worker family at a pea-picker camp in Nipomo, California. The most famous of the photographs, Migrant Mother, featured Florence Owens Thompson and three of her seven children. Lange was working for the Resettlement Administration and the photograph raised awareness of the destitute conditions in the camps. Within days, the pea-picker camp where the photo was taken received over 20,000 pounds of food from the federal government.

I created a stockroom inventory from the pea-picker camp in Nipomo, CA where the photograph was taken.

Genre 4: How to Make a Pinhole Camera

I made these instructions: "How to Make a Pinhole Camera" for my fourth genre. They describe how to construct the camera out of household materials, make a negative, and produce a photograph.

Genre 3: News Bulletin

I chose to make this news bulletin to show the power that photographs of natural disasters can have, especially in conjunction with textual reports. The photos that came from the disaster in Japan on March 11, 2011 struck the hearts of people around the world, inspiring relief efforts, donations, and thousands of people ready to help.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Genre 2: Comic

I made this comic based on the iconic photo, "V-J Day" by Alfred Eisenstaedt which was taken in Times Square on August 14, 1945.

Here is my comic frame-by-frame:

When I researched the history of this photograph, I found out that the nurse actually did slap the sailor across the face right after he kissed her. I don't know if the two ended up together, but in my retelling of the photo, they do!

Genre 1: Twitter

Here is a twitter page I created for my first genre. I tweeted about all kinds of interesting photography links, pictures taken using different film and cameras, and photographer sites.