Paul Strand was the transitional figure in the shift from pictorialism to the ‘"straight” approach in creative American photography. In 1915 he abandoned soft-focus effects, at Stieglitz’s urging, and began making images with a directness and purity considered inherent in the photographic medium. Among the earliest were street portraits, including this one, which evidenced the strong social and humanistic consciousness that characterized Strand’s work throughout his long career. He wrote in the last issue of Camera Work (where this image appeared), Photography is only a new road from a different direction but moving toward the common goal, which is Life. 
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