Let us take a journey with one of yesteryear’s greatest and most famous photographers of the female gender, to another with one of the world’s most successful and well known lady photographers of the here and now.
Meet Dorothea Lange and Deborah Sandidge! They are of two completely different styles, genres and ages of image making. The equipment and overall technology of these two eras may seem as if they are from different planets, but I do see at the roots, that same dedication to excellence and story telling.
Dorothea, is a legend, with her greatest fame coming from her photographs made during The Great Depression. Among those images, her pictures that were created from the western Dust Bowl, are the most iconic. Because of what she endured, her never ending dedication to humanity, and her poignant story telling through the lens of her large format (Speed Graphic) camera, America and the entire world felt like they were there suffering with those poor people.
Dorothea at work. I love this shot. There is nothing like an artist at work.
The best known book about her life
The dust bowl life was as much a journey as it was an experience.
Her most iconic image
The era has changed, and so has the world, along with its technology. I often complain, because among women outdoor photographers, they always seem to come up a little short in the success department when compared with men. I partially blame the attitude of the viewers of photography for this, but sometimes I lay the blame on female image makers for not aggressively pursuing the “next step”, as it is often called. Well, Deborah Sandidge is not afraid to go after it all. She stands toe to toe with the Art Wolfe’s and the Jim Zuckerman’s as one of the world’s premier image makers.
There are a lot more tools available to Deborah than there were for Dorothea, and boy can she use them. Her images range from straight up, to partially recreated, but they are art of the highest order. She takes us on glittery and exciting journeys, as she is a world traveler second to none. You never know, where she will show up.
Whether the image is literal, or a dreamscape, whether it’s color, black and white, or a version of infrared, I’ve never seen an image from her, where I said, if only she’d have done that. My guess is, that anyone who takes a workshop with Deborah will be blessed. I am happy to say that she is a Facebook friend of mine who’s work automatically graces my pages almost daily.
Florida piers. She often uses slow shutter speeds or multiple exposures to blend sharp foregrounds with dreamy skies.
Wild horse in France
Rural scene with a great comp from Washington State.
A wild and beautiful black and white infrared from the Palouse Country in Washington State.
Yellow plane, Washington State
Dreamscape. Blurred crops, Washington State. Probably a multiple exposure with some subtle camera movement between shots. Very impressionistic!
London at night.
We are blessed to have, and to have had photographers like Deborah and Dorothea.
It is in some respects sexist to do an article like this. To look at woman and men differently, as if their journey and their struggles differ, does make it seem as if I am favoring one or the other. I am not. I just recognize reality.
I am privileged to have two superb female photographer/artist friends, who’s images have even graced the pages of Earth Images. My desire for them is to “keep it up”!
Have a great day, Wayne