The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Portrait of a picture of a migrant mother

So I started watching “Masterpiece: The Making of Migrant Mother” and right off, I'm annoyed that the creator, Evan Puschak, is using a vertical orientation for the video, as if he filmed it with a smart phone. But after a few minutes I stopped noticing the odd aspect ratio as I was engrossed in the top of the video. By the end, it was clear that the vertical aspect ratio was a design choice, to reflect the subject matter, an iconic portrait from the Great Depression.

He filmed a video about Dorothea Lange's portrait “Migrant Mother” in portait mode! Yes, it's jarring to see video in portait mode instead of the normal landscape mode, but ultimately, I think it works.

It was also interesting to note just how much manipulation went into that photo. It wasn't just a quick shot of a mother with three kids, but artfully staged as government propaganda to promote one of President Roosevelt's social programs during the Great Depression. Jason Kottke goes into some depth about the subject of the photo, Florence Owens Thompson.

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