Skip to main content

Photographic Art

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.



Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. She moved to Berkeley, California when she was 23 and lived there until she died of esophageal cancer. Dorothea became the finest documentary photographer in America with her work during the Great Depression.

The majority of her photos were taken in rural areas. She was well known for her moral courage—and sensitivity to the dignity of her subjects.



Edward Weston

Edward Weston (1886-1958) was born in Chicago and by age 17 his photographs were exhibited at the Chicago Art Institute. When he was 20 he decided to move to California, where he lived until he died of Parkinson's Disease.

Weston became the leader of the "pure" photography movement, creating wonderfully designed, and miraculously detailed, incredibly sharp images.



Robert Capa

Robert Capa (1913-1954) was from Budapest, Hungary. He was to become world famous for his physical bravery as a combat photographer who was willing to fearlessly go right into battles to photograph close-ups.

Capa covered five wars during his short (20 year) career, including the Normandy Invasion of World War Two. He was killed in Vietnam when he stepped on a land mine.



Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) was from Germany. He moved to Queens, New York, for the rest of his life, in 1935 because he feared oppression from the Nazis. From 1936-1972 he worked for Life magazine, where his photographs were to appear on 90 covers.

The most famous photograph shot by Eisenstaedt was of an American sailor kissing a young woman in Times Square after WWII ended in 1945.



Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was not only a groundbreaking photographer; he was also a musician, poet, novelist, journalist and film maker—a Renaissance Man.

Parks became a photographer for Vogue and Life magazines—the first African-American to do so; and he directed the movie Shaft. He was born in Kansas and died of cancer in New York City. The remarkable life and career of this man cannot be encapsulated in only a few words.



Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was from San Francisco and became the foremost nature photographer in America. He was a meticulous technician who produced black and white pictures with a full range of tonal nuances, and remarkable depth and clarity. Ansel Adams photographs are ubiquitous in America today.

His most famous work is Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.



Scroll to Continue

Joe Rosenthal

Joe Rosenthal (1911-2006) was also from San Francisco. He was a photographer for the Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle.

The photo we will view won the Pulitzer Prize for Rosenthal and appeared around the world in newspapers and magazines. It is also featured on a U.S. Postage Stamp and on many war memorials.



Wayne Miller

Wayne Miller was born in Chicago in 1918. He moved to Los Angeles in 1940 and later became a photographer for Life magazine.

In 1954 Miller participated in the record-breaking Family of Man exhibition in New York at the Museum of Modern Art. The photograph we will view is from that exhibit—and the baby is his own son, David.



Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon (1923-2004) was a New Yorker who started out as a fashion photographer for magazines such Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and the New Yorker before becoming the world's greatest portraiture photographer. His images uncannily reveal the personalities of his subjects.

Avedon used what is known as the minimalist style of portraiture. He is famous for his photos of the Beatles. He died of a brain hemorrhage.



W. Eugene Smith

W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) was from Wichita, Kansas, and achieved fame for his brutally vivid photographs of World War II, where he was wounded in battle.

Smith is known today as the originator and master of the photo-essay. He was a speed freak and alcoholic, which led to the massive stroke that killed him.



Eddie Adams

Eddie Adams (1933-2004) won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the execution of a Vietcong prisoner by the Saigon Police Chief, while working for the Associated Press. He was a combat photojournalist in 13 wars, beginning with the Korean War for the United States Marine Corps.

Adams is also noted for his portraits of politicians and celebrities.



Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is a portrait photographer born in Connecticut (1949). From 1973 to 1982 she was a staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine. She became famous for her pictures of the Rolling Stones; and John and Yoko Lennon.

Leibovitz was influenced greatly by Richard Avedon. She later worked for the magazine Vanity Fair. She is the first woman to exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 03, 2019:

Dave McClure ~ Thank you for reviewing my gallery. I had not heard of Bert Hardy until you brought him to my attention. I just now took a look at his work and it is first class. Henri Cartier-Bresson is featured in my companion Hub to this one:

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 02, 2019:

This article was just reviewed by the famous art critic, Scott Lee Fisher. Here are his words:

Love those photographs.

The first one, from when migrant meant something else both conveys the urgency of daily living with a full use of the spectrum of the film. The woman is completely central to the photograph (contrast that to the Leibovitz picture later).

The Weston image also ises the full range of the film, but sort of adds a dark foreboding to a common object.

The Cappa and Eisenstaedt photos are much more editorial and story telling neither uses the full range of the film (it would be hard for the Cappa photo to do so), so it is the story telling that takes over.

The Parks photo also tells a story, about the shift in hard scrabble life in the US from the original farm couple to a black cleaning woman. The staging is the message here. The simple smock, the huge US flag in the background, the cleaning implements, the re-imagining of a familiar image all contribute to the message.

Then we get to the master of the zone system photography (at least imho), Ansel Adams. This photo takes a majestic scene and somehow enhances is (even in black and white) by using the full tonal range of the film from whitest white to blackest black. In large part, that was his genius.

Joe Rosenthal’s famous photo was a majestic re-enactment of the original flag raising for impact.

The Wayne Miller photo really centralizes the doctor first and the baby second for its message. The central light of the picture surrounded by dark could be seen as a metaphor for the joy of birth in an uncertain (and dark) world.

The Avendon of MM is really interesting. Has most of the qualities of a great B&W photograph from the tonal qualities. But, what does it show? Seems to show an iconic person at vulnerable and unsure time, even if, ironically, she is dressed to the nines.

The Smith and the Eddie Adams photographs show the merging of art photography (use of light and dark) and photo journalism. The Smith photo is so dark, the only light in in the areas of love in a sad situation. OTOH, the E Adams photo is much more light (while still using the full range of the film) depicting the overarching joy of the image.

Then we get to the only color photo. The Leibovitz has mostly muted colors, and one has to look twice to see that it is actually in color. The light of the queen’s robes only appear light because of God given light coming into the room, and even that is overcast. She is looking to that light. The rest of the room is dark. The positioning of the queen is central, but makes her small, and the office large. The message maybe being that the office is more important than the person? You have to give Leibovitz credit for still using the full light to dark tonal range of the film in a color photograph.

Just some observations on a great set of photos from amazing photographers.

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on October 01, 2019:

Nice collection, James. I would also find space for a Bert Hardy and a Cartier-Bresson, but there are so many.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2019:

Dianna Mendez ~ I apologize for not responding sooner to your nice comments. I must have missed the notification. I love the work of Ansel Adams. Which shows you have a good eye for beauty.

Dianna Mendez on December 06, 2013:

I used to have several Ansel Adams photographs around my home. His eye for the beauty of earth if so talented. Nice photo gallery and very informative.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 10, 2012:

Curiad— You are quite welcome, Mark. I am well pleased that you enjoyed this gallery and article.

I love the way you put that, that "The black and white that all these artists used shows the spirit of the subject rather that the surface."

Well said, my friend!

Thank you for coming and for the awesome accolades.


Curiad on December 10, 2012:

Wow James, I love this Hub. The black and white that all these artists used shows the spirit of the subject rather that the surface.

Incredible work sharing these. The Joe Rosenthal photo of the marines of course is Iconic, and the "TOMOKO UEMUIA IN HER BATH" is especially powerful.

Thank you, mark

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 16, 2011:

AnesaK— You are most welcome. Thank you for your insightful remarks. I absolutely love photography. On some of my Hubs, I use my own photographs. They're not bad. :-)

I am glad that you enjoyed this gallery. I will come by to see what you've been writing ASAP. Welcome to the HubPages Community!

AnesaK from USA on October 14, 2011:

This is very informative, James. I am a big fan of "as life happens" type of photography, and it's great to know about the pioneers of this art. I noticed that more than a few of the photographers died of unfortunate diseases...quite sad. Thanks for sharing this :)!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 14, 2011:

Ralph Deeds— Thank you. I'll have to check out Weston's nudes. I was not aware of them. The "Ballerinas" is a bevy of beauties, eh? Thank you for visiting my Hub. It has been a long time since we have interacted on HubPages, my fellow Michigander.

Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on July 13, 2011:

Nice choices. Some of my favorites. Too bad Hubpages doesn't allow Edward Weston nudes!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 07, 2011:

Douglas Dunigan— You are most welcome, sir. Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate the visit.

Douglas Dunigan on February 05, 2011:

Thanks for the info

Well done

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 25, 2010:

BrianS— I am well pleased that you came by to view my gallery. Yes, these are amazing photographs by outstanding artists. The digital era has surely changed the game. There was once a time when whatever one saw in a photograph was believed to be True.

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on October 24, 2010:

Some pretty amazing photographs taken at a time when photography was a true art and was highly skilled. The digital era has made taking photographs much easier than it used to be, but I guess you still need a good eye for a decent shot.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 31, 2010:

Austinstar--- You do know your photography. Margaret Bourke White is a one of the greats. Thank you and you are welcome.

The photos are all loading for me. I don't know why they wouldn't for you. Welcome to the HubPages Community.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on January 30, 2010:

I thought Margaret Bourke White took the photo of the Migrant mother. Hmmm learn something new every day. I will look for photos by this Dorothea Lange.

Nice hub, but a lot of the photos do not load. Please update.

Thank you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 04, 2010:

Citrus000— Thank you! You're welcome, too. I see you've published your first Hub. I am coming over to check it out soon.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 04, 2010:

prettydarkhorse— I am doing vastly better this past week. I have finally found my special purpose. Happy first weekend to you, my dear. Thank you for the compliments.

Citrus000 on January 02, 2010:

This is a great introduction to some classic photographers. Thank you James, nice work. :-)

prettydarkhorse from US on January 02, 2010:

Hi James, great piece about photography and art once more, Happy first weekend 2010 and I wish you the best and how are you? Best always, Maita

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 19, 2009:

stars439— Thank you very much for the high praise indeed! Isn't that baby photo priceless? I think it is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. And rightly so.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on December 19, 2009:

Fantastic art and photography like it always is. The baby! Imagine delivering your own son! That must definitely be a profound moment to that doctor. Great Great Great Great Photography. God Bless You

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

brianjohnson1951— Thank you for the nice compliments, Brian. It always feels good to be appreciated.

brianjohnson951 on November 27, 2009:

Like your work on this page, James A. Watkins. The photo in this page is great and so is the research on the photographer that is on this webpage.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 26, 2009:

dara— Welcome back my friend! I appreciate your lovely words. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 26, 2009:

dara— I'm sorry it took so long to respond. I have been in Israel for nearly two weeks.

I am well pleased that you are moved by the photographs, as I also am. They are provocative, to be sure. You are welcome. I thank you for visiting.

dara on October 22, 2009:

.... that is..thank you for opportunity to see deeper into your soul.

dara on October 17, 2009:

It seems to me that you chose some of the most provocative photos in history.. I was not expecting to feel so moved and now I know more about you. Thanks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 03, 2009:

Janetta— That is the best photo of her. Gorgeous. Thank for for your nice words. Welcome back. It's great to see you again.

Janetta on October 03, 2009:

Thanks James! :D I couldn't rejoin the hubisphere without visiting an all time fave ;) The new pic is Lauren Bacall, actually. I've thought about searching out another but I really like this one so I think I'll keep her for a while lol

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 02, 2009:

Janetta— Well, what do you know. I haven't seen you around for a while. Thank you for coming to visit my humble Hub. Is that Rita Hayworth? It's not Lauren Bacall, is it? I love Ansel Adams. I could do a whole Hub about him. Welcome back!

Janetta on October 02, 2009:

Great job as always James ;) Ansel Adams is one of my favorites and you introduced me to some new names too!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 27, 2009:

dohn121— I do have a passion for writing (and reading); and photography—doing it and viewing it. You are welcome. Thank you for the visit and the comments.

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on September 27, 2009:

Wow. Not only was this a hub of some of the most memorable photographs, but a tribute to some of the best photo journalists of the 20th century. Thank you for sharing this with me, James. You certainly have a passion for photography and writing.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 23, 2009:

prasetio30— Thank you. I do like B&W photography very much. I've really enjoyed your Hubs, too. I appreciate your comments.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on September 23, 2009:

Nice picture James. You have wonderful collection of photography. Black and with looks natural.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 22, 2009:

Zanetta— Thank you. I appreciate your interest. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

Zanetta on September 22, 2009:

Hi, very nice Photos and info, I look forward to reading the other hubs you have written about photography and Art

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 21, 2009:

Dave Tusk— You know, I feel the same way. It's not that I am against color. But the B&W photos draw me in somehow.

Thank you for visiting and commenting. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.

Dave Tusk on September 21, 2009:

The older I get the more I love black and white. It really captures and expresses mood, feeling and emotion.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 20, 2009:

jill of alltrades— Thank you! I must admit, I love those ballerinas, too. You are a real artist photographer, so your comments warm the cockles of my heart. :D

jill of alltrades from Philippines on September 20, 2009:

I love this hub! I salute you James! You truly are an artist and historian.

Black and white photos are so powerful! The last one is in color though but still is as powerful because of the lighting effect. I really enjoyed all of them especially that of the "ballerinas".

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 20, 2009:

Hello, hello— I am truly glad that you visited this Hub. You are welcome. It was my pleasure to assemble this collection. I got to review hundreds of beautiful photographs in the process. Thanks for your comments.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on September 20, 2009:

Thank you so much for sharing these photos with us and the lives of the photographer. They were really super and something special in it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 20, 2009:

Duchess OBlunt— Thanks! These are some fine photos. The artists is just sketched for the sake of brevity, but there is a lot of information available about them for those who want to know more. I appreciate you leaving your words here.

Duchess OBlunt on September 20, 2009:

As usual, a great job. I loved the photos, and was pleased to learn a little of the history of the artists. Just enough to wet the appetite! Good job.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 19, 2009:

Kebennett1— You always lift me up when you come to visit with your encouraging words. I love all of these photos but the two you named are certainly classics. And Ansel Adams is my favorite. Thank you for your comments. :D

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on September 19, 2009:

As always the photos you choose to display are perfect for their "class". I love "Migrant Mother" by Lang, and I have always loved Ansel Adams. "IWO JIMA" BY JOE ROSENTHAL Is a heart warming "classic" that I am sure any art lover has seen, or if new to loving art, should see! I am happy to see it amongst your choices. Thank you for the Photographic Art tour! Awesome as Always, James!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 19, 2009:

IslandVoice— Well, you picked three great photographers. If I had to select one whose art I would prefer to gaze upon it would be Ansel Adams. What beauty captured. Thank you for visiting and leaving your warm words. I appreciate it.

Sylvia Van Velzer from Hawaii on September 19, 2009:

What can i say? You know i'm a big fan when it comes to your art, photo and docu hubs. Here i like all photographers you featured, but i so love Ansel, Rosenthal and Leibowitz.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 19, 2009:

advisor4qb— Strange as it may seem: so do I! :) Especially the 2nd one in the line.

Thanks for letting me know you came by.

advisor4qb from On New Footing on September 19, 2009:

I like the ballerinas the best.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 18, 2009:

"Quill"— Thank you very much for the affirmation. I do appreciate you letting me know you enjoyed it.

"Quill" on September 18, 2009:

Great peering into the masters...very informitive and well put together.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 18, 2009:

GPAGE— Thank you, dear. The accolades are much appreciated. Photography is one of my favorite subjects. So much can be conveyed in a small space. I am tickled that you enjoyed the journey. :D

GPAGE from California on September 18, 2009:

James.....THIS HUB IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! Gotta LOVe Annie! ;

Really great prints you chose to display. All of these photographers are so amazing. Inspiring! THANK YOU!!!!!! GPAGE

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 18, 2009:

Tina Irene—That Ansel Adams is so gorgeous. He has many fine works to his credit. Thank you for coming over and leaving your compliments. It makes it all worthwhile.

Tina Irene on September 18, 2009:

James -

Beautiful hub! Thanks for creating it.

I have a copy of "The Tetons and the Snake River" by Ansel Adams, a great photographer; and great photos in this hub!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 18, 2009:

success79— Thank you for the laudations! I so appreciate your remarks. Brightens the day!

Sonia from New York on September 18, 2009:

Wow!! So much relevant information that tickles the mind. Very resourceful.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

Catherine R— I am glad you agree. They are great pics and quite varied. I reviewed hundreds of photos before I decided on these. Most of these same photographers have many wonderful works. Thank you for affirming my choices.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

jiberish— Thank you, dear. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

sumon6— Hello again! Thank you for your support. I do appreciate you for visiting my Hubs and leaving comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

Nemingha— I appreciate your remarks. Thank you for reviewing my Hub.

Catherine R from Melbourne, Australia on September 17, 2009:

Fantastic pictures by awesome photographers. I particularly like the Dorothea Lange picture. Nice work.

Jiberish from florida on September 17, 2009:

Dramatic photos, all wonderful. Great work as always, James.

sumon6 from USA on September 17, 2009:

Good hub about Photographic Art



Nemingha on September 17, 2009:

A great round-up of who's who in the world of photographic art.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

ftgfmom— I am glad you enjoyed it. That is my goal. Thank you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

ethel smith— Thank you. I'm not sure of the reason, but B&W photos draw me in. It's always nice to here from you, dear. And I got your Queen in there! :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

reconciled heart— You have exquisite taste. Lange had to be the opener for this Hub even though the rest of them are in chronological order. Thank you for leaving your kind comments.

ftgfmom on September 17, 2009:

I enjoyed this. Keep'em coming. I don't know how you do it! :)

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on September 17, 2009:

Fabulous photos James. Black and white is so stylish. It turns a photo into a work of art for me. I know The Queen is in colour but only just.

reconciled heart on September 17, 2009:

Beautiful photographs--I have always especially liked Dorothea Lange and Annie Leibovitz. Great hub!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:


Thank you, my friend. It's always my pleasure to hear from you. :D

Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on September 17, 2009:

They are so great, I mean photographs, my friend.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

Tom Cornett— Great to hear from you! Your are quite the artist yourself. Thanks for the accolades. Always good to see.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

Bail Up!— I loved Life Magazine. Thank you for leaving a comment and you are welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

Tom Whitworth— I agree with you. That is not your usual Marilyn photo. She does look sad. To have the adoration of millions, tons of money and famous friends—and still be miserable.

After your comment I noticed only the last photo is in color. For some reason, I hadn't even noticed that! There is something special about B&W.

Thank you, Tom for reviewing my work and leaving word.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

divinemercylover1— What a gracious comment! I am thankful for the encouragement, John. I also enjoy reading your Hubs.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

shamelabboush— Thank you for saying so. I am grateful you came to see them!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

katyzzz— Thank you for coming by and for the nice compliments. Coming from a fine artist as yourself, only makes them sweeter. :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 17, 2009:

quietnessandtrust— I'm sorry about that. I don't know what happened—it was a first time event. The preview looked good but after I hit Publish most of the photos didn't show up. I sent an email to HubPages staff and they must have done something because within a couple hours, there they were.

I haven't listened to much music lately. I still have no sound on my computer. But it is a pleasure to hear from you again. And congratulations on your radio success with your music. That is awesome!

Tom Cornett from Ohio on September 17, 2009:

Photography is a wonderful art....great job James! :)

Bail Up ! on September 17, 2009:

I do remember some of these from the LIFE magazines. Greast shots. Thanks for the info on the artists behind them.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on September 17, 2009:

Great work James.

I seem to detect a hint of sadness in Marilyn Monroe's eyes.

I'm not sure why it happens but I seem to study the individual subjects in black and white photos more that those in color photos.

divinemercylover1 on September 17, 2009:

Great work James. Very nice essay and photography. I dont know how you produce such excellent hubs. I hope you keep it going though. It is good to call you friend. Keep up the great work you are well known for. You have tons of friends brother. John

shamelabboush on September 17, 2009:

Fantastic old pictures!

katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on September 16, 2009:

You certainly do your homework James, too much work for me tho. Well done and great photos and history

quietnessandtrust on September 16, 2009:

Most of the photos do not show up.

But still a real nice hub bro.

Heard any good music?

Related Articles