It was some time in the early 1990s that I came across Jack Delano’s work in a photography book titled “Puerto Rico Mio: Four Decades of Change.” Here Mr. Delano compared images from his first visit to the island in the 1940s with those he later made of the same sites 40 years later. Coming of age in the 1970s-early 1980s in Puerto Rico as I did, was to witness socioeconomic changes that saw my grandmother raised in an earthen floor shack yet found me in a first-world college prep school with eyes set on the Ivy League. Delano’s images are stirring, magnificent, capturing a people and place in deep flux.
Delving further into his work I noticed he had experimented with light photography /light painting with some long exposure shots using mostly natural light for effect. Many of these images are well known but they were a surprising treat for me.
“Chicago Railyards,” Jack Delano, 1942
“Chicago Union Station,” Jack Delano, 1943
Carl Kruse uses both images from the public domain — photographs from the U.S. Farm Security Admin., which employed Jack Delano in the early 1940s.
I invite everyone to learn more about Jack Delano, a photographer of his time, and beyond.