Long Lange Interview

Although you can read the interview with Dorothea Lange made by Richard K. Doud in New York on May 22, 1964 at the Smithsonian Institution site, it was good both to have its existence pointed out and also to have suitable illustrations added, presumably all also from public domain sources on the ‘A Photo Student‘ blog by photographer James Pomerantz.

Although I’ve often criticised the USA approach to copyright it does have its good points, and one is the huge amount of publicly available public domain material. (Another is a proper concept of ‘fair use’ although this does not always work.)

If you haven’t already discovered the Library of Congress Online Catalogue (the web site was upgraded not long ago at a different address to make it easier to use) you are missing out.

This first illustration that Pomerantz uses is available there for free download both as scans from a copy neg of the print varying in size from 39Kb jpeg to 12Mb Tiff, from the original neg at sizes from 98kb jpeg to 20Mb Tiff as well as a scan of the print at 116kb or 41 Mb.

Since Lange made the image when working for the US Government, there are “No known restrictions on images” and you can download it and make a print for your wall with no guilty conscience. Personally I’d choose the scan from the negative and try and see if I could improve on the print.

You can actually build up an excellent collection of photographs in this way – including most of Walker Evans’s best images – for the cost of ink and paper alone.  There is also a very thorough explanation on the site about assessing the risk of using any of the photographs in the collection for various purposes. I think I’m pretty safe with this one, although unlike most bloggers I’m always very careful about copyright.

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