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Category: Visual literacy

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Focusing on Lewis Hine’s Photographic Technique

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

The following is a guest post by Ryan Brubacher, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division Lewis Hine, at a certain point in his career, began to refer to himself as an “interpretive photographer” and not a social photographer as he’d been previously termed. While we might imagine him an investigative photo-journalist by today’s standards, his …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

A House Hunt: Which Members of Congress Are Shown in this Panoramic Photo?

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

Many pictures come into Prints and Photographs Division collections with little or no identification on them. It’s not entirely surprising, since a portion of our collections were generated or collected by individuals who readily knew the who, what, where and when that depictions can evoke and didn’t feel compelled to write it down. But even …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Absorbing Details in the Classroom: Photographs of Schoolroom Interiors

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

The semester is well underway in many U.S. schools and, by now, one would expect their classrooms to have acquired what my family referred to as the “lived-in look.” One of my favorite photo detail explorations is to peer closely at classrooms—particularly what appears at students’ seats, on the chalkboards and adorning the walls—and to …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

New Video Series on “Reading” Pictures: Every Photo is a Story

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

When I look at my family photographs, the stories behind them usually come flooding back to me. I recall the occasion–and often people and events I associate with the occasion, even if they aren’t shown in the pictures. But lacking those personal associations, photographs–especially historical photographs–can seem like vast mysteries–or closed storybooks. Now a wonderful …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

The FSA/OWI Collection: New Videos Provide a Visual Introduction

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

How can one ever come to understand a collection of 170,000 pictures? If you read my post a few weeks ago about finding unprinted Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) photographs, you probably quickly realized that the collection is complex, consisting of many interrelated parts. I hope you also got a sense of the …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

A Summer of Sharing

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we’d be playing a game called “What’s My Title?” at the National Book Festival (Sept. 22-23). I can testify that it was wildly successful–and great fun. Hundreds of people stopped by to look at the five popular photographs we mounted on a wall, and many accepted the …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

The National Book Festival – please join us!

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

The Prints & Photographs Division will be on hand at this weekend’s National Book Festival (Sept. 22-23).  If you’re planning on attending, please look for us in the LC Pavilion. Our focus will be “reading photographs,” and we’re inviting visitors to participate in a photo captioning game called “What’s My Title?” We’ll be displaying a …