This collection of 100 haunting, sometimes humorous, but always deeply honest black-and-white photographs reveals the 42-year career of a master photographer and photojournalist.
Ken Elkins retired as chief photographer of the Anniston Star in 2000, and this selection of his work demonstrates his brilliant eye for finding and capturing images of rural southern lives and landscapes in all their difficulty, candor, and humor. These are unadorned images of a timeless landscape and proud resourceful people, who know well their neighbors, honor their past, and face the tests of daily life with wit and a stoic sense of endurance.
“The old scenes are gone, or going . . . and the people are different, less likely to be in overalls and print dresses, less likely to a sliver of tobacco off a sweet-smelling plug of Brown Mule. So we try to remember, imperfectly. But not Elkins. . . . He and his camera have found value in their lives that so many others--a world full--were unable to see. I have worked beside the very, very best. But I only know one picture taker. When he turns his lens on the mostly rural, mostly poor pockets of his native Alabama, something beautiful happens. He draws out the dignity and loveliness that is in these people, and spreads it out for the rest of the world to see.” --Rick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of All over but the Shoutin', Somebody Told Me, Ava's Man, and The Most They Ever Had, in his foreword to Picture Taker