Social Reportage: Dorothea Lange

Today’s essential question: How did the photography of Dorothea Lange help capture the experience of the Great Depression?

DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965)

Dorothea Lange was an influential American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Lange’s photographs humanized the consequences of the Great Depression and influenced the development of documentary photography. Her photograph, Migrant Mother, is the most famous of the FSA photographs. Lange had promised not to publish the photo and use it only to obtain food. Food was indeed rushed to the camp when bureaucrats saw the images, but two of the pictures were published, and one of them become iconic almost overnight. View more of Dorothea Lange’s work at The History Place and the Museum of Modern Art.

Using Photopea to finish your Illustrative Photography projects

Today’s essential question: How can I finish my Illustrative Photography project from home?

If you need to finish your Illustrative Photography project and do not have a tablet with digital painting software, you may want to incorporate some traditional materials like Sydney:


Image Credit: Sydney

  1. Draw your background on a piece of plain white paper. Color it in with whatever you have at home – colored pencils, markers, etc.
  2. Take a photo of your drawn background.
  3. Go to on your Chromebook or computer. Open the photo of your drawn background in Photopea, then follow the instructions below:
    1. To add the photo of your person, go to File -> Open and Place:
    2. That should put the new image in the same file as the rest of your project.
    3. To remove the green background around your person (if you have not done so already), use the eraser tool eraser_tool
      If it gives you an error message saying that the layer must be rasterized, right click on the layer in the layers palette on the lower rights side of the screen and select “Rasterize” from the options that pop up.
    4. To move an object, use the move tool move_tool
    5. To change the size of an object or rotate it, go to Edit-> Free Transform
    6. Then to save the file and post it to your blog, go to File -> Export As -> PNGfile_export_as_png

Please email me with any questions. Try to include screen shots if possible.