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Photographers and Photography Studios › Articles

Thanks to these well-known photographers we have these historic moments visually captured in time.

“Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams, photographer, 1902 - 1984

A photo truly does say a thousand words - in a thousand ways. See a photo of a relative who has passed and innumerable memories come to mind - Thanksgivings, Christmases, the first day of school, a loving hug . . . . all of these and more come flooding back. Even photos of people and places you've never been or seen can inspire a strong reaction - a beautiful scenic view, a tragic event, a child in need, they all change you forever. Photos are a powerful mode of communication: in one glance, they can change the way you view the world or reinforce your viewpoint.

And who does this communicating? The photographer. We see what the photographer sees, in the way that he or she sees it. Lewis Hine, a sociologist and photographer, took a series of photos in the early 1900's that led to child labor laws changing. The Library of Congress has over 5,000 of his photos in their collection. Dorothea Lange, backed by the Farm Security Administration, documented the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. She said of one of her iconic photos - of a migrant mother and her children in 1936:
"I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it."
Over 80 years later, that photo still speaks to us.

Hine and Lange aren't the only ones, of course. Ansel Adams, an environmentalist as well as a well-known photographer, took photos that have sold for thousands of dollars and have been reproduced everywhere. His photos have inspired love for the environment. Art and fashion photographers like Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, and Irving Penn have influenced generations of photographers and their photos - in the form of posters - hang on many walls. And the earliest photographers - many of them in small studios around the world - have allowed us to have faithful reproductions of our ancestors, often people we didn't even know.

These are the photos from local studios and famous photographers that allow us to see the past in a new way.