W. Eugene Smith was a photojournalist. He photographed life as it happened - events, people, landscapes... His work was not just about the visual, it had meaning, it had significance.
Not just because he photographed war or consequences of pollution, or people's sufferings. It was more than that. It was about capturing a moment that lasted a split second and under no circumstances could have been repeated again. It was about conveying a message through a stunning image that evoked emotions.
The very first photograph of Smith I saw was the "Walk to Paradise Garden"(1946) - single photo of his two children walking hand in hand towards a clearing in woods. And I was blown away by the power of this image. Not only Smith creates visually strong images, he creates a mood, he tells a story with it. And that's a sign of a truly great photographer.