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Earl’s Blog

Remembering the 30th Anniversary March on Washington at the 60th

Posted by on Aug 29, 2023 in Regular Pages | Comments Off on Remembering the 30th Anniversary March on Washington at the 60th

A Participant Who Stood Out Then and Stands Out Today

C:\Users\Earl Dotter\Desktop\Raymona Middleton Project 5-24-2023\30th Anniv. of March on Wash. 8-28-93 3.6mg.jpg

In the afternoon of August 28th, 1993, the humidity and heat were overwhelming. I had spent the morning photographing on assignment for the United Autoworkers (UAW) for its magazine, Solidarity. From around the country, autoworkers were attending the 30th anniversary of the I Have Dream speech that Martin Luther King gave on August 23rd, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a speech that galvanized the Civil Rights Movement.


Washington Jewish Week: Earl Dotter Stays Focused

Posted by on Aug 18, 2022 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

The singular focus of Earl Dotter

By Lisa Traiger
August 18, 2022. 21 AV 5782. Vol 58 No. 33

Sixty years ago, at age 19, Earl Dotter moved to California with the goal of becoming a state resident for the then-free college tuition. During his two-year waiting period, he worked at the Gallo Winery Glass Bottle Plant, “inspecting bottle samples for flaws as they emerged from their red-hot molds,” as Dotter, a longtime Silver Spring resident, has written. By 21, enrolled in San Jose State College’s graphic design program, he bought himself a Rolleiflex camera and started photographing as much as he could in the San Francisco Bay area. Read More

Zoom Recording Now Available

Posted by on Feb 1, 2021 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

Essential Workers in the Time of  COVID-19

By Occupational Photojournalist, Earl Dotter

A Johns Hopkins Education & Research Center ((ERC) Seminar

The focus of this classroom seminar will be my current photographs of Essential Workers on the Frontlines of Healthcare and who are protecting us in the communities where we live in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I will discuss the evolution of my outreach methods, strategies that I have always used to protect myself in hazardous workplaces, and more recently from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Throughout my career, many of my assignments have focused on dangerous work requiring the use of Personal Protective Equipment.  My presentation will also include images of workers whose employers did not provide the necessary PPE, with the on-the-job adaptations they made to protect themselves. Emergency responders, farmworkers, and public employees will be featured. A series of historical images from my collection will show early photographs made when photography made it possible for the first time for workers in the Industrial Age to have their portraits made with the tools of their trades.

Mine and Mill Portfolio: NPR’s Bob Edwards, Morning Edition Interview

Posted by on Sep 9, 2019 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

Interview on the Publication of my First

In 1980, I published my first portfolio, In Mine and Mill: A Photographic Portfolio of Coal Miners and Textile WorkersI had the pleasure of being interviewed about it by NPR’s redoubtable Bob Edwards, which you can hear below. I want to thank my friend, NPR’s Howard Berkes, for making this available.

Bob Edwards Interview:


Altamont Enterprise: Earl Dotter’s Immigrant Job Training School Visit

Posted by on Jun 13, 2019 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

Dotter: ‘Photojournalist of working people’

— and of refugees who want to work


ALBANY — Earl Dotter moved quietly around the long tables in a classroom on the second floor of the Emmaus United Methodist Church in Albany last month, taking photos of refugees and immigrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma, Afghanistan, and many other countries. The newcomers to the United States were attending a session of the Job Club that will help them prepare for and find employment.

Dotter was brought to the Capital District by the Northeast New York Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health, whose executive director, Matt London, called him “the preeminent photojournalist of working people, and people while they’re working.” 


Dotter Photo of Coal Miner, misused by Russians – in Mueller Report

Posted by on Apr 18, 2019 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

2016 Trump-Pence Election Poster Was Published in the Recently-Released Mueller Report.

It Is the only Mueller Report Visual Exhibit of

Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.

I first learned of this photo’s misuse by the Russian Internet Research Agency from Howard Berkes at NPR. Previously a friend employed at the Federal Mine Safety Review Commission saw the Trump poster online after the election. They were the first to let me know of this improper use of my photo of Lee Hipshire a black lung victim who died at age 57 in 1987 and lived in Logan County, WV. The link to my coal miner photos posted on NPR— that have supported Howard Berkes’ black lung reporting is one likely source of the hacked image, the other source is my website.  Over a year ago, I informed the FBI of this misuse of my photograph by Russian Internet Research Agency supporting Trump’s election.  Later, I was interviewed by an FBI agent in my home.  

On the day the redacted Mueller Report was first published, I first learned from my daughter that Robert Mueller had presented this improper use of my copyrighted image on page 31 of the Mueller Report as a visual example of Russian interference in the 2016 election.  I next contacted Lee Hipshire’s son, Ronnie, now a retired UMWA coal miner living in Logan County, West Virginia, informing him of the misuse of his father’s photograph.  Ronnie was very upset, saying his Dad was a lifelong Democrat who considered the Democratic Party to be “for the working man and the Republican Party for the companies.”  Ronnie Hipshire ended up being interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered show the following Saturday afternoon.  That segment quickly became the most viewed from the show with Anderson Cooper also interviewing Ronnie Hipshire on his CNN show.   Subsequently, the Washington Post, Charleston Gazette-Mail, Philadelphia Inquirer and Canada One Radio all did interviews, feature stories or editorials about this improper use of my portrait of Lee Hipshire.  The poster shown below created by the Russian Internet Research Agency is a key Mueller Report exhibit of Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016.  Below is a list of online links to media coverage of this story;



Russian Internet Research Agency Coal Miner Poster of Dotter Image of coal miner, Lee Hipshire

On page 31 the Mueller Report published this fake rally poster. The two PA rallies never took place. 

The Poet Laureate of American Workers

Posted by on Apr 10, 2019 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

Grondahl: ‘Poet laureate’ of American workers bringing photo exhibit

ALBANY — Earl Dotter understands as well as anyone the hazards faced by workers who perform the five most dangerous jobs in America: logging, commercial fishing, airline piloting, roofing and trash hauling.

He has stood alongside loggers wielding roaring chainsaws and felling massive Douglas fir trees in Washington state forests. In winter, he has straddled the heaving, icy deck of a large commercial stern trawler in the storm-tossed North Atlantic off the coast of Maine. He’s also been given extraordinary access with his camera behind the scenes on airport tarmacs, on commercial roofing projects and shadowing trash collectors in city neighborhoods. — Read More

In Our Blood, Four Coal Mining Families

Posted by on Mar 7, 2019 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

Earl Dotter and Matt Witt’s 1979 book about Coal Miners:

In Our Blood, Four Coal Mining Families, published by The Highlander Center may be viewed and read now on Google Books.

Pictures That Speak

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

Posted February 18, 2019 – For viewers of this site: Please note the Stansbury Forum just published my illustrated feature article, Pictures That Speak, delving into my photo work history and the motivation behind my images.

Life’s Work Reviewed

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Regular Pages | 0 comments

Posted February 18, 2019 – My new book: LIFE’S WORK, A Fifty Year Photographic Chronicle of Working in the U.S.A. was recently reviewed by Janet Zandy in the current issue of the Journal of Working-Class Studies