I studied political science at the University of Texas, and by chance one semester, I took a photography course taught by Professor Dennis Darling that would eventually change my life. Dennis normally taught graduate journalism programs, but once or twice a year he would teach the course I took, for students who were majoring in things outside of communications and journalism. It focused around the basics of using a camera, but for me would be the eventual basis for a career change.
Well this year Dennis has turned 65, and has opened up the archives of his life’s work to some of us who have stayed in contact with him. For the last few months, a couple times a week we receive an email with a single photo and a short caption. The shot above is one of my favorite’s that I have received thus far. Taken in 1975, it is of a Ku Klux Klan member and his wife in East Texas. Dennis’ work is incredible and spans many decades. Luckily, along with me, he has also been forwarding his work to some folks at NPR, who decided to publish a bunch of it today on NPR.org. If you’ve got the time, I’d recommend checking them out. They’re powerful pieces of work.