… they had plenty of time – the ultimate documentary resource – they themselves became something of experts in geography and agriculture. They were also sensitive and capable of the profound empathy with the subject matter that transforms certain photographers into depictors of reality in a truly documentary sense. Knowledge also affords artistic freedom. Experienced and versed, the author can move within his subject matter. His depiction of reality then becomes “macro realistic” – that is, a concrete expression of an inner reality.
NINE REFLECTIONS CONCERNING 1/125th
By Sune Jonsson (1978)
The reportage confrontation is a fragile method of documentary work. But even so unfavorable an assignment situation can be transformed: if the photographer is given sufficient time, if he is given time to gain a knowledge of the environment that will enable his pictures to function as documentary statements, if he has the personal qualifications to deepen his empathy, his social commitment, and his responsibility as a fellow human being. This obviously turned out to be the case with Gunnar Lundh and Sven Järlås. And young photographers like Yngve Baum and Jean Hermanson have also come far along the same road of personal deepening.
How the subject matter can eventually assume the role of client can be sensed when one reads in the writing of Kurt Bergengren that C. G. Rosenberg became so intensely captivated by the image world of the stone sculptures of the churches of the Baltic Swedish island of Gotland that he felt the need to convert to Catholicism, that Lennart af Petersens suddenly experienced Christ as a personal presence while he was working on documenting the triptych in Strängnäs Cathedral.
As Gunnar Lundh and Sven Järlås worked with a specialist, so too did the renowned FSA photographers work with specialists from the US Department of Agriculture and under the whip of the tough Roy Stryker. Because they had plenty of time – the ultimate documentary resource – they themselves became something of experts in geography and agriculture. They were also sensitive and capable of the profound empathy with the subject matter that transforms certain photographers into depictors of reality in a truly documentary sense. (To be continued on Filmkommentaren with one more reflection…)
Sune Jonsson: Helmer Jonsson med hästen Frank och flakvagn på väg för at lada hö under slättern, 1960. Det hedder videre i billedteksten i bogen Sune Jonsson: Album – fotografier fem decennier, 2000, hvor fotografiet er hentet: ”En af skrindbalkarna på flaket har lagts ner för att ge plats åt Edvin, Helen och Berta. På de slagna vallarna står stolparna tätt från de redan tømda trådhässjorna, i bakgrunden skymtar tre fyllda, ännu torkande, höhässjor.”
https://randersbiografien.wordpress.com/museum-samling/ (ABN om Sune Jonsson)