Log Home, Priest River Peninsula, Bonner County, Idaho by Dorothea Lange
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($500)
Today’s new vintage edition from Dorothea Lange—Log Home, Priest River Peninsula, Bonner County, Idaho—is a damn good photo; its virtuosity reveals itself in strokes both broad and subtle. As always, Lange ably fulfills her duty to document a time and place for the wide-ranging FSA project, but she leaves us with an image that’s ripe with narrative and contains the kind of detail that makes it an homage to the practice of photography itself.
At first glance, one might simply see a picture of a derelict house—a shack, really—in a desolate landscape. That is what it is, after all, but wait! Lange’s knack for framing images draws you in. Stay with Log Home, Priest River Peninsula, Bonner County, Idaho just a bit longer and everywhere your eye goes, there is visual interest, texture, and angles.
The roof juts out just so, creating a striking negative space that draws your eye up to the corner of the frame and then leads it downward, deeper into the sort of line and contrast that only an 8x10 camera can capture. Within those cracks and crevices is a tonal range that made everyone at 20x200 HQ fall in love with B+W photography all over again.
And then…Kittehs! Two bitty kitties crouching by the door awaiting something or someone. Or perhaps they’re keeping an eye on their mama, whose shape is almost camouflaged in the foreground. And there’s a mop on the wall and a light above the doorway that one can easily imagine shining at night—a welcoming beacon calling someone back from the world beyond this photo’s frame.
Suddenly, this house has become a home. The photo’s role as both a document and an aesthetic exercise give way to a story about the determination and resilience of human nature, and our ability to find—or create—the comforts of home in any circumstance.
With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200