As Ken discusses specific photographers, you can check out the links to online galleries that we have provided.
Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine
Giving a case study for the power of photography to bring about direct social change, photographer Ken Light speaks about two important photographers — Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine. Jacob Riis' "How the Other Have Lives" is a seminal work of documentary photography that jumpstarted a wave of urban renewal and poverty reforms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in America. His crusade for the dignity of the people living in slums laid the groundwork for many photographers to follow. Picking up Riis' torch was Lewis Hine, whose innovative outreach with photography helped bring about the end of grueling and exploitative child labor.
Jacob Riis: nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/02/27/nyregion/20080227_RIIS_SLIDESHOW_index.html
Lewis Hine: atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Lewis-Hine.html
Documentary photography and the humanistic tradition
Documentary photographer Ken Light describes how "a sense that the human condition is an important part of the story," allows for other documentary photographers to hold deep personal connections to their subjects. Documentary photographers work to use the power of their creative medium in order to share the stories of people that can bring about change.
Eugene Richards' powerful approach
In a different approach to documentary photography than the direct appeals Riis and Hine, Eugene Richards makes powerfully moving and sometimes intense subject matter, ranging from deeply personal stories, to crack cocaine, to guns, to wounded soldiers trying to blend back into society. According to photographer Ken Light, Richards is primarily interested in storytelling above all else. Ken points to the lasting power of images as the substance that moves such stories.
Eugene Richards: eugenerichards.com
Donna Ferrato: donnaferrato.com
The power of different voices in photography
Can there be a "female" visual narrative that differs from a "male" one? Would ten photographers coming from ten different countries photographing the same thing see differently? Documentary photographer Ken Light believes both to be so. In this video, Ken Light praises the work of Lee Miller and Mary Ellen Mark, and speaks about their unique contributions to photography. Light also goes on to speak about international voices in photography.
Lee Miller: leemiller.co.uk/Gallery.aspx
Mary Ellen Mark: maryellenmark.com/index.html
Josef Koudelka: atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Josef-Koudelka.html