Critical Focus: The Black and White Photographs of Harvey Wilson Richards


criticalWhile photographing, editing and producing 22 documentary films about a variety of protest movements of the 1960s, Harvey Richards shot still photographs, mostly in black and white, to help publicize the events he filmed. Critical Focus compiles his black and white images of California’s agribusiness, the peace and civil rights movements, the environmental movement and the devastation wreaked by the logging industry in the forests of the west coast. It also includes photos from his trip the Soviet Union in 1961 with his wife Alice Richards and his son, Paul. At the time Critical Focus was published in 1987, the full extent of his photographic collection was hidden in the file drawers of his study.  The photos in the book are those he developed and printed in his darkroom in the garage for use by the movements he photographed. [Publisher’s description.]

Paul Richards is offering the book for free for classroom teachers, for the price of shipping.

Here is an explanation of why Paul Richards is offering to share this treasure trove of images. Teachers can request their copy by placing an order here and indicating in the comments field their school, grade level, and subject. Anyone else can order the book for $15 plus shipping directly from Estuary Press here.

Many more resources are available free and for minimal cost in the Harvey Richards Media Archive. There are 22 films and over a thousand photos in the archive. Using mobile devices and computers, students can access extensive photo collections on all the subjects covered in Critical Focus. Students and teachers can see vivid images of the California farmworker’s movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the peace movement, deforestation and exploitative mining in the US, and images of the Soviet Union as it looked in 1961. There are clips from all 22 films available for free viewing on the website. Students can rent or download an entire film for a small fee from several online sources as well. All of Harvey Richards’ films are available as DVDs for institutional and individual purchase. Critical Focus is also now available as an eBook.

To learn more about the Harvey Richards Media Archive, subscribe to Estuary Press Archival Images Newsletter. The newsletter offers a free digital rental of any film in the archive for signing up.

Credit: Written and compiled by Paul Richards. Published by Estuary Press, 1987.

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