This blog post is dedicated to one of the old masters that constantly inspire me: Disfarmer (1884–1959).
Regardless who ended up in front of his big clunky camera, they were all treated equally. No charm, no fuss. The sitter was just placed in front of a white or black backdrop with light from a window and Mike Disfarmer pressed the trigger.
He photographed the ordinary citizens of the rural Arkansas but was always true to both the sitter and to himself. And the expressions on their faces and their posture did not necessarily tell the ultimate truth about the person. But it definitely showed defencelessness, virginity to the medium (of photography) and directness. They are beautiful in their raw, unpolished simplicity.
Try to get hold of a copy of the book “Disfarmer”. It is a real gem.
Inspiring music… “Flametop” with Daniel Lanois (2005).