What [Sam] Stephenson recognizes is that [“Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath”] represents the culmination of the unifying principle driving [W. Eugene] Smith’s work. It is a principle that seems to me plainly evident in the World War II pictures, in his Life essays, in the Pittsburgh and Jazz Loft photographs. Smith, [John] Berger wrote, was “the most religious photographer in the history of the art. A seer in both the photographic and biblical senses of the term.” That unifying principle is human sympathy of a rare and difficult, almost destructive intensity—starkly expressive, forever unflinching, and never forgetful of the beauty of the visible world.

Vince Passaro, “Framing the Shadows”