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Margaret Bourke-White, Fearless Photographer

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 29, 2019

Yesterday I linked to a thread discussing old school bloggers who are still active. One of the best of the old guard is very much still at it: Alan Taylor. Taylor has been curating photographic essays the The Atlantic for more than 8 years — and for several years before that at The Boston Globe and on his own blog. His latest features the work of Margaret Bourke-White, one of my all-time favorite photographers.

Margaret Bourke White

Margaret Bourke White

That first shot is an alternate view of this iconic photo.

By 1929, she began working for magazine publishers, joining both Fortune and, later, LIFE. She spent years traveling the world, covering major events from World War II to the partition of India and Pakistan, the Korean War, and much more. Bourke-White held numerous “firsts” in her professional life — she was the first foreign photographer allowed to take pictures of Soviet industry, she was the first female staff photographer for LIFE magazine and made its first cover photo, and she was the first woman allowed to work in combat zones in World War II.

Here’s Bourke-White in a fleece-lined flight suit during World War II, ready to work. Badass.

Margaret Bourke White