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The Greatest: W Eugene Smith

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The Greatest: W Eugene Smith

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Davidson Smith


W. Eugene Smith

The great W. Eugene Smith was an outstanding photojournalist from America who lived from December 1918- October 1978. He was considered one of the greatest photojournalist to ever touch a camera. Smith was very well known for not operating under professional standards and his graphic photos from World War II. He was also known for his drive to create portraits that revealed the true identity and essence of the subject that was being captured. All of his work carried a certain message that he wished to get across to the viewers. He was extremely dedicated to his craft and was admired by many, but he was said to cause "problems" for those who wished to mold his work to fit their “standards”.

Eugene Smith's interest in photography came at an early age. His mother who was also a photojournalist, inspired Smith to follow suit when she allowed him to take pictures with her camera. Smith began his illustrious career by taking photos for two local newspapers, The Wichita Eagle and The Beacon. After leaving, he began to migrate and work for various magazines such as Newsweek and Life Magazine. By the time Smith turned 21 he had a plethora of publications with several magazines across the country. Soon after, Smith received his dream opportunity when he was assignment to cover the war in the Pacific during World War II. Needless to say Eugene Smith jumped at the opportunity.

While covering World War II, Smith captured images of U.S. Marines and Japanese prisoners of war. He captured all aspects of the war which included very graphic and vivid sights of the battlefields and campgrounds. He wished to grab the experience of being in the actual war with his images, which he did with most of his work. After witnessing, first hand, the violence and graphic scenery, Smith took it upon himself to develop a theme of social responsibility in his work. He wanted his images to touch his viewer and inspire them to push for...

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