The Story of a Photograph: Walker Evans, Ellie Mae Burroughs, and the Great Depression (Kindle Singles) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The author covered the lives of Evans and Agee and the impact that their work for Fortune magazine would have, even long after all the principals involved had passed on. As an avid amateur photographer, I was extremely impressed to read how Evans worked with both a large-format view camera and a smaller Leica. His most serious work - portraits - was done with the view camera, which required a lot of skill and patience. The use of flash bulbs for fill-in flash was just coming into play in the early 1930s, and was a hit-or-miss proposition with the comparatively crude equipment of the day. Coupled with the vagaries of the equipment of that era was the fact that Evans' darkroom was a thousand miles away, which meant that he was "shooting in the dark," so to speak.
I was also impressed to learn that Evans and Agee didn't just pop in and ask to take a quick series of photos, then leave to find other subjects. In some cases, as with the Burroughs family, they actually moved into their home and got to know the family, even participating in their daily life.Read more ›
The author, who worked as his principal assistant during the last years of Walker Evans's life, takes us from the early years of Evans' life to his death in April 1975. I've always identified this iconic photo, usually known by its title "Alabama Tenant Farmer Wife" with the name Allie Mae Burroughs, but Jerry Thompson's explanation in this book clarifies that difference quite well:
"Evans's best pictures are fact and symbol at the same time. One of these best pictures--and certainly one of his best known--is the close portrait of Ellie Mae Burroughs. (She's sometimes called Allie Mae Burroughs, and in Evans's 1941 collaboration with the writer James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, she is given the name Annie Mae Gudger)."
We find that in his early years as a creative talent who began by wanting to write, Evans was gratified to read that his works dealt effectively in metaphor, and was particularly pleased to find this comment "not in the pages of U.S. Camera or Popular Photography but in a magazine of general (and rather high-toned) cultural appeal."
Walker Evans began to take photos in the late 1920s, and as early as 1929 was trying to establish himself as an artistic photographer. He had taken snapshots during a European trip, and upon his return to New York, he published his first images in 1930.Read more ›
All in all I found it to be a good read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A brief incisive, well-written history of the making of a classic Walker Evans photograph.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
It was not quite what I expected...interesting but to be truthful, not really in my realm of interest for non-fictionPublished 20 months ago by Vicky
Very good read. A must for anyone interested in photography as a craft, hobby or just enjoyment.Published 21 months ago by Miss_Fitt
if you like Walker Evens photos and want to learn more about him the book is a great start in to him.Published on January 28, 2014 by Angelo Caminiti
Good book but not what I was expecting overall. I did learn a lot about the picture and the times and area it was takenPublished on November 8, 2013 by Cookster
As a history teacher, I use pictures often to tell a story of the time period we are studying. Having the background to the picture definitely enriches the analysis process for... Read morePublished on September 7, 2013 by Jacqueline T. Lynch
I enjoyed reading this article. It was informative about the ways photography was done to capture the history of the Great Depression, but nothing unusual or thought provoking, at... Read morePublished on June 12, 2013 by Dave L
I've been teaching the photograph for years in AP U.S. History, and it's nice to have an even deeper understanding.Published on June 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer
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