Turning Points: Life-Changing Moments by Magnum Photographers - Photographs and texts courtesy of Magnum Photos | LensCulture

From iconic images of major world events, to intimate moments of pleasure and delight — here is an outstanding selection of remarkable images from Magnum Photos — each with a personal story

W. Eugene Smith: Father of the Photo Essay

Last week, I talked about the photo essay “Country Doctor” by W. Eugene Smith, and today I would like to focus more on his life and photography in

William Eugene Smith has been described as “perhaps the single most important American photographer in the development of the editorial photo essay.” He shot photo projects so large that they cannot be displayed in any museum. Let’s take a closer look at this brilliant photographer.

The Unknown Eye and the Eugenes. – The Eye of Photography

The Call for Entries for the 2017 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund just ended for this year, and it happened on the same day the great Eugene Richards’ first museum retrospective and tour opened. The Eugenes, Smith and Richards, make for good company because they are both important photographic story tellers who shoot real people in desperate or, at least, trying circumstances.

In the Darkroom with W. Eugene Smith

Gene always liked to get separations around people, figures, and that was always done with potassium ferrocyanide. It was the contrast that made the prints difficult. Gene saw the contrast with his eyes, but the negative wouldn’t capture it the same way. So he would have to bring the lamp down and burn, and then if that spilled too much exposure and made it too dark, you would lighten it with the ferrocyanide.


I guess what I miss most is the solitude. I remember standing alone in the pitch black of a hotel road darkroom after a dangerous day, with my arms thrust deep into a sink of 68-degree wash water for no reason while I waited for the fixer to clear my film. There, in the absence of every sight, of every sound, it was peace.

W. Eugene Smith's Madness 1959 – Conscientious

W. Eugene Smith was one of the greatest photojournalists of the 20th Century, but I think he would probably have a hard time if he was still alive and decided to enter World Press Photo, which just decreed that only "retouching which conforms to currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed."

W. EUGENE SMITH: "W. Eugene Smith's Pittsburgh Photographs" (2001)

W. Eugene Smith's Pittsburgh Photographs Carnegie, Nov/Dec 2001 by Ellen S. Wilson "Don't expect," wrote photographer W Eugene Smith, "a point-by-point hand-led tour. This is an experience as an intensely curious visitor (perhaps a new resident) mig

"Don't expect," wrote photographer W Eugene Smith, "a point-by-point hand-led tour. This is an experience as an intensely curious visitor (perhaps a new resident) might discover it." Smith wrote those notes to himself as he began his Pittsburgh project, what he later called "the finest set of photographs I have ever produced." With a clear vision and a spectacular result, it is puzzling that Smith also considered the project a failure, and that until now the final results have never been exhibited together.

Richard’s Notes » Blog Archive » Brilliant Fever: W. Eugene Smith and Pittsburgh


A good friend of mine just gave me the DVD: Brilliant Fever: W. Eugene Smith and Pittsburgh and while I knew Smith’s work, I fell in love with it all over again watching it.

Check it out here