Maize Harvest at Ejura, Ghana, 1972

Richard Saunders

Silver print

Shooting from the bottom of the production line up towards the women working at the top of it, Saunders uses perspective to emphasise the symmetry of the bags of maize, the balance of which, in turn, is enhanced by two of the workers mirroring one another with their arms held high in the air as they stich the bags closed.

“I was a witness to everything,” Saunders told Bermuda’s The Royal Gazette shortly after his retirement in 1986. “Whatever I saw, I was a part of – I didn’t try to change it, didn’t attempt to change it. I simply tried to document it.”

On the technical challenges of photographing on 35mm film in a developing country, he said: “When you are in the bush all by yourself, you have to worry about technical problems. You don’t want the film to be exposed to heat, for there is no second chance for pictures. You’re so far away from Washington, and you worry that when the film gets back it won’t be what you are after.”

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