Women’s History Month: Margaret Bourke White, photojournalist

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971) was a documentary photographer.  She is a well known photojournalist who was the first permitted to take pictures of Soviet industry under the Soviet’s five-year-plan.  One of her photos of the construction work at Fort Peck Dam was the first cover photo of the first issue of Life Magazine.  She lived with Parkinson’s Disease for eighteen years before succumbing to its effects.

From Wikipedia: “One of Bourke-White’s clients was Otis Steel Company. Her success was due to her skills with both people and her technique. Her experience at Otis is a good example. As she explains in Portrait of Myself, the Otis security people were reluctant to let her shoot for many reasons.  Firstly, steel making was a defense industry, so they wanted to be sure national security was not endangered. Second, she was a woman, and in those days, people wondered if a woman and her delicate cameras could stand up to the intense heat, hazard, and generally dirty and gritty conditions inside a steel mill. When she finally got permission, technical problems began.  Black-and-white film in that era was sensitive to blue light, not the reds and oranges of hot steel, so she could see the beauty, but the photographs were coming out all black. She solved this problem by bringing along a new style of magnesium flare, which produces white light, and having assistants hold them to light her scenes. Her abilities resulted in some of the best steel factory photographs of that era, which earned her national attention. “To me… industrial forms were all the more beautiful because they were never designed to be beautiful. They had a simplicity of line that came from their direct application of purpose. Industry… had evolved an unconscious beauty – often a hidden beauty that was waiting to be discovered” Margaret Burke-White, Portrait of Myself (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1963), 49.

See the source imageSee the source image See the source imageSee the source image

If you would like to learn more about Margaret Bourke-White here are a few links:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Margaret-Bourke-White

http://time.com/4355162/margaret-bourke-white-cameras/

3 replies »

    • The scope of her work is just amazing. I wanted to be a photojournalist when I was a kid. My parents thought otherwise. I sometimes wonder what could have happened had I followed my heart instead of my parents’ advice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow Thoughts and Ponderances on WordPress.com

Archives

Blogs I Follow

Chelle’s Twitter

LLOYD'S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY LLC

A VIEW FROM THE LENS

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

Adventures of Toby

The exciting adventures of Toby the Wonderdog

monica byrne

novelist . playwright . traveler . futurist . feminist

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

Commonplace Book Blog

Creative Nonfiction, Writing, and the Pleasures of Reading

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Scribblings from the Bluegrass

The other me: writing, cooking, sometimes snarky...

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

HistorianRuby: An Historian's Miscellany

Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair

My Genealogy Life

Family stories are my buried treasure. -- Patricia Greber, treesrch1800 at gmail.com

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

Taken the Series

The Adventures Of Chelle

Pieces of History

A blog of the U.S. National Archives

Streaming thru America

Finding and reporting what's special across America

Cabell County World War I Memorial Boulevard

Honoring the men from Cabell County, WV, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Needull in a haystack

Selected. Sorted. Shared.

charles french words reading and writing

An exploration of writing and reading

Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes

Everything's Mary

Finding happiness and trying new things on a budget.

Franklenstein

Frank book reviews

The Elliptical Saloon

Weblog for WhiteHouseMuseum.org

Stories by Jake Fuentes on Medium

The Adventures Of Chelle

Stories by Yonatan Zunger on Medium

The Adventures Of Chelle

Books – Nerdist

The Adventures Of Chelle

Appalachian Magazine

The Adventures Of Chelle

Beyond the Edge

National Geographic Adventure Blog

The Plate

| Serving Daily Discussions on Food | National Geographic

Phenomena

A science salon

A Change of Tune

The Adventures Of Chelle

Barnes & Noble Reads

The Adventures Of Chelle

Omnivoracious

The Adventures Of Chelle

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings

Books blog | The Guardian

The Adventures Of Chelle

Love and Lemons

The Adventures Of Chelle

Outdoor Photographer

The Adventures Of Chelle

Speed 51

The Adventures Of Chelle

Beyond the Campsite

Clean Camp; New Journeys

Tinycamper's Blog

diy mini camper van, Casita & Aliner trailer mods, camping, outdoors, all things nature

Blog

The Adventures Of Chelle

Lazy Girl Running

The Adventures Of Chelle

THAT BACKPACKER

The Adventures Of Chelle

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

The Adventures Of Chelle

%d bloggers like this: