Social photodocumentary photography reached its maturity thanks to the commitment and vision of jacob a. Riis and lewis w. Hine. The first was a journalist and the second a sociologist. Both achieved what no one imagined changing the world thanks to their photographs. Hine and riis endowed social documentary film with the activist component that the precursors of the genre lacked. By oscar colorado nates.
Riis jacob riis 1906 jacob august riis 18491914 jacob august riis left his native ribe denmark to get money in the united states and be able to get married. It was 1870 and nothing was easy for the immigrant who began working as a carpenter and salesman. Today there is a tendency to idealize the life of the first immigrants who arrived in the united states, but jacob riis suffered firsthand the miserable life in the new york slums and the poor houses run by the police.
The photographer demonstrated how child labor deprived
After an incident in which his only After that, friend, a small jewelry retouch service dog, was beaten to death by a police officer, I riis began writing hard times and found that he had a talent for writing . The sun2 in 1888 riis joined the new york evening sun as a journalist. An acquaintance contacted him in 1873 with a news agency and After that, the immigrant carpenter became a police reporter for the new york tribune . In 1888 he left this job to join the new york evening sun as a journalist where he began his crusade to help the dispossessed, as for riis the poor were not the creators of their destiny but victims.
Iiriis was not a photographer, but he quickly understood the importance of graphically documenting the unspeakable living conditions in the alleys and slums of new york. After that, He correctly intuited that photography could be an extraordinarily powerful weapon. He initially used the help of others but ended up learning to create his own photographs of himself. Jacob riis in poverty gap west 28 street an english coal heavers home c188090s jacob riis. West 28 st. An english coal heavers home. c188090s “riiss photographs provide a very harsh view of life in the ghettos.
Often the photographer who faces unfair situa
Impoverished families looking at the camera IT Email List with empty eyes. Ragged children sleeping among the garbage accumulated next to the houses. An old man standing in the middle of the street asking someone to buy one of his pencils. An immigrant sitting on his straw bed. A new american citizen preparing for the After that, sabbath in a coal bunker.” iv in 1887 riis read about the invention of the blitzlichtpulver to illuminate a scene by means of magnesium powder. He immediately understood the possibilities that this new technology opened up for his photographs and he became one of the first to use the flash.
A fundamental part of immigrant life was nightlife and crowding into unhealthy policerun poorhouses. Magnesiumflash olivier lugon explains that “by allowing the public gaze to penetrate in turn into the cubbyholes, the night shelters or the basements, the flash sic has a capacity for revelation that, apart from the effective documentary contribution, acquires a symbolic charge, expressing by itself the ambitions of that denunciation photograph, as well as the problems it will have to face.” iv and he adds “on the one hand, that flash of light in the midst of darkness embodies better than anything else the claim of these photographers to bring to light what society represses, their ability to reveal the most hidden parts of reality and human nature.