The photographs are great study material for today's photographers. Pay particular attention to the composition and content of each photo in this series.
There's a touch of mystery in the first photo. Why are these people crowded around the barn? What's going on? Who are they? Notice the balance in the image from right to left, it's very interesting. Two sets of "rule of thirds" on each side and a wagon in the center. But the line recedes from the couple on the right to the wagon in the middle to the people on the left. Our eye is drawn in and through the photo, up the silo and across into the crowded barn and back to the couple on the right. A complete circle.
|Farm auction. Derby, Connecticut, September 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress|
Breaking the rules: the front line of the tent (a horizon line of sorts) is not level. The top corner of the banner is deliberately not included in the photo. However, these elements work extremely well with the ropes and poles holding the tent and the lines in the graphics and signage. Lots of action in the lines of this photo make a very interesting and lively image. The photograph was taken from a low point of view (pov) adding power.
|Barker at the grounds at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress|
The photographer used a magnificent play of light and shadow to grab our attention. The arcs of light draw us in to the center of the image. Notice the welder on the right side of the photo. The rule of thirds!
|A welder who works in the round-house at the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company's Proviso yard. Chicago, Illinois, December 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress|
Here the entire scene is well balanced from the calendar and clock on the wall, to the way the women are seated around the table to the items spread out on the table. However, the photographer has made the image look casual and candid.
The photographer gave this image a very powerful look by shooting at an upward angle giving his subject a very commanding appearance. Very commanding!
|Mike Evans, a welder, at the rip tracks at Proviso yard of the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Chicago, Illinois, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress|
All photos by Jack Delano
Hope you enjoy these images and photography tips!