The History of Photojournalist W Eugene Smith: a Strobist

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Photographer W Eugene Smith is known as one of the best American photojournalists in the mid-2oth century. His work went on to influence not only photojournalists but also photographers in general. Mr. Smith worked for many of the famous newspapers and agencies–which brought him to the Magnum Photos foundation. He’s very well known for capturing very interpersonal moments and creating images that look natural when shooting indoors. In fact, W Eugene Smith is known to be one of the first strobists in photojournalism. While many photographers put the flash on top of the camera and didn’t know how to use it well, Mr. Smith took the flash off of the camera and made it create lighting in a scene that looked natural to the human eye. Editors loved him for this despite the fact that he was a bit tough to work with.

Mr. Smith was also behind the documenting the effects of Minamata disease in his photo essay called “Death Flow from a Pipe.” The work went on to reveal a huge coverup involving the dumping of raw sewage into water supplies.

Ted Forbes from the Art of Photography gives you an excellent history of the great photographer in what’s probably one of my favorite episodes to date.