Monday, February 16, 2015

Black and White Photos

Observing Ted Kooser's immense talent was an eye-opener for me. Never been exposed to anything like that, and to tell the truth, it was a bit discouraging when I tried to write or take a picture. Since he went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and serve as Poet Laureate of the United States for a few years, my awe and fascination was probably warranted. 
Ted has been showing up in my thoughts every now and then as Linda gave me his latest book, The Wheeling Year, that is like an artist’s sketch pad, only in words. We exchanged emails a few weeks ago, but I hesitate to intrude as he has all kinds of fans who take his time and energy.

When we worked together in the early 1970’s, in the days before personal computers and the internet, both of us independently ordered pictures from the Library of Congress that were reprints of pictures taken as part of Roosevelt’s initiative to document the Great Depression…and employ artists who were photographers. A novel idea. The photos were magnificent. Not pictures on the screen, but actual photos on real photo paper.

The photos shown here are reminiscent of those 1930’s pictures. Black and white and expressive. I found them to be wonderful, hope you enjoy.

If you want to look at some of the ones from the Depression (includes some from WWII), here is a link:

The link gets you to the place, but there are nearly 200,000 pictures and I don’t know where to guide you to get some of the best ones. The ones by Dorothea Lange are among the most famous.

Another observation: the middle of the Great Depression was about 35 years earlier than when Ted and I ordered the photos. Sort of like if we were to order pictures today from 1980.

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