January 9, 2012

W. Eugene Smith’s Cinematic Photographs of a Country Doctor in 1948

For his 1948 feature Country Doctor, LIFE magazine photographer W. Eugene Smith spent 23 days in Kremmling, Colorado, shadowing general practitioner Ernest Ceriani. His powerful, intimate images capture in poignant detail the emotional and physical challenges faced by this modest, hard-working rural physician — and gradually reveal the inner workings and the outer trappings of what is clearly a uniquely rewarding life. When first published, ‘Country Doctor’ was an instant classic, setting Smith firmly on a path as a master of the unique art form of the photoessay, and solidifying his status as one of the most passionate and influential photojournalists of the 20th century.

All unpublished outtakes from Smith’s revelatory three-week assignment for LIFE magazine can be seen on LIFE.com.

(via Feature Shoot)


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