It was 25 years ago that Edward Steichen first opened the doors of the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the largest photographic exhibit ever -- "The Family of Man."

From that time on photography has gained tremendous momentum in being accepted as both an art medium and a vital means of communicating facts and ideas between people and between nations. Today the camera is used to depict those people and the everyday relationships of man to himself, to the family, to the community, and to the world.

Many photojournalists are deeply concerned with what they see -- what they become witness to. Yet it is their responsibility to document the visual history of the perishable past and capture on film our rapidly changing present.

We are now finding photography everywhere -- in books, magazines, museums, and art galleries around the world. Yet for the newspaper photographer, his work is seldom seen for more than a day.

With that in mind, we have asked our Monitor photographic staff to select some of their favorite photographs to give to our readers for "a second look." This is the first of four such pages that will run each Tuesday in March.

Photographers make personal statements with their cameras of what they see, feel, and understand. No two photographers ever see or feel or think alike, thus the infinite variety of photographs on the market today.

As I travel from the Andes to the Himalayas or down into Africa's Rift Valley , I am constantly in search of positive statements about man -- that he can find hope, freedom, happiness, and dignity wherever he might be.

Lewis W. Hine, an early "humanitarian-with- a-camera," may have expressed it best when he admitted he always wanted "to show the things that have to be corrected . . . [and] to show the things that have to be appreciated."

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