Archive for January, 2018

Photographic Madness

January 3, 2018


I let my mind wander in the wonder of all things Smith, -W. Eugene Smith, that is. Thanks to the December 2017 edition of HARPER’S and “Framing the Shadows” by Vince Passaro, I could walk into several frames of his life.

By the time I would hold in my young hands the weekly magazine, LIFE, Smith had already quit his job as photojournalist. At the age of 35 in 1954 he would continue a career with a passion and obsession for the perfect images. From graphic images of WWII to the soulful side of Schweitzer developing clinics in undeveloped Africa to the documentation of mercury poisoning of thousands in Minimata Japan, W. Eugene Smith would change with course of photography, scrapping rules and sacrificing everything, risking his life.

Master of the photo-essay, as detailed in the eight page article with photographs that will take your breath away,  it is said about Smith that “during his relatively brief and often painful life, he created at least fifty images so powerful that they have changed the perception of our history.”

True as that statement is, Smith was driven to madness for the perfect image. Whether it took two weeks or 2,000 shots, his was total abandonment for the sake of art. We may never fully know the man behind the lens, but we will feel his raw emotion that is captured in faces over his short 40 year career.