Thursday, February 18, 2010

Norman Rockwell

Sometimes I like to think about Norman Rockwell. Looking back on his numerous covers for the Saturday Evening Post you can't deny that he's one of the masters of making the ordinary timeless. Almost all of the scenes he depicts are regular moments of human interaction in daily life... they aren't peak action, they aren't dynamic, they aren't unusual circumstances in the least... they are simply quiet moments.

It makes me wonder about the "quiet moments" (read: the mundane things) that newspaper photographers capture all the time. I often think that a photograph I consider so-so today might be viewed very differently 50 years from now. We often call ourselves documentarians, writers of history; often taking that to mean that we cover the definitive events that define our future. Rarely do we recognize and accept that we also cover the definitive moments that define our humanness.

Dr. Michael McHenry examines the ears of Allen Warburton, 4, at the Bellin Health Family Medical & Wellness Center in Bellevue, Wis., Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010. Warburton's father, Mark, left, watches.
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