When we speak of photography, we often talk about its artistic capabilities — how it’s used to show creativity. While true, it also bears duty and power. In the case of Lewis Hine, the daring images he captured proved to be the impetus that gave way to awaken the public and reform American labor laws.
Hine’s photographs are iconic for their gritty composition, artistic elements, and shocking content. Very few photographers have accomplished what he has done. His effort alone to secretly document the living conditions of workers is a feat in itself. TASCHEN’s new book titled Lewis W. Hine, America at Work covers all phases of his career as a photographer. A number of photographs included in the 544-page book helped change the way America looked at its labor force, ultimately leading to the government’s move to transform its laws and eradicate child labor.
This photo book shows the capability of photography as both a tool for discovery and action. Hine knew that to see was to believe and his images brought his concerns out in the open and into the consciousness of the American population. Aside from his social documentary work, the book also includes photographs from Hine’s later years. His magnificent photographs of the construction of the Empire State Building are both classic and timeless.