Russell Lee



This photograph by Russell Lee exemplifies the "future-orientation" that the FSA wanted to show to the public, to prove that its relief programs were working. The image above, of a farm couple, in Hidalgo County, Texas, 1939, shows them sitting at home in the evening listening to the radio. They have secured their new home with an FSA loan, yet they are still poor--notice the holes in the man's socks. However, the image portrays this couple to be on the rise. Lee places the radio at the center of the frame to signify its importance--it represents communication, and the progress of technology, that will help get farming families back on their feet.

Again, this is another case where you can not help sensing the presence of the photographer--not only do you see the reflection of the imposing flash, but the indoors, close-proximity-nature of the image gives Rothstein no other choice than to be present in the photograph. This quality is what you do not find in Evans' work.

Technically, this image was shot with flash, it is indoors, and you notice the reflection of the flash off the radio.
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