from "A Sense of the Seasons."
One of my friends photographed the Grand Canyon. On his recent trip there he claimed to have found tripod holes in the rock at a particularly beautiful vantage point. What he said might be hyperbole, or might be true, because good photographers recognize the “right” spot for making a photograph. I am fond of preaching the only two things that matter in photography are where you place the camera and when you press the shutter. When you have photographers going into the same area and photographing the same scene, you have the high probability that talented photographers will see the same thing and come back with strikingly similar photographs. Here’s an example:
Atlanta, John Vachon, 1938 (FSA photograph)
The folks over at the Shorpy website found these images and pointed out the similarities. Both Evans and Vachon saw the contrast between the fantasy world of Hollywood as shown on the posters and the reality of the Depression. These images are different only in the way each photographer “worked the edges” of their composition. It makes sense for these two images are similar because both photographers were on assignment for the FSA and looking for images based on the same criteria.