Here's an image from a photographer I only recently discovered. Alec Soth has a curious and slightly melancholic view of the world and captures this view through his camera lens by way of a documentary style investigation. With a working practice similar to Stephen Shore and William Eggleston though much more directly interactive with his subjects.
In 2010 Alec traveled to England to complete a photographic commission for the Brighton Photo Biennial. Told at customs that he had no work visa and that he could face up to two years in prison if he was caught with a camera in his hands, Alec had to think outside of the square. He handed over his camera to his seven year old daughter who took on the commission.
This image taken (and in the spirit of sharing) from the self published 2008 book 'The Last Days of W', which documents the social decay and urban crisis evident by the end of President Bush's two terms in office.
A different take on the 'Family of Man' project, photographer Chris Verene takes an honest and loving look at his extended family in the ongoing (since 1984) Galsburg Series. Living in one of the hardest hit areas in the US due to the economic downturn Chris portrays the daily grind in the town in which his folk exist. The images speak for themselves as a family lives life, death and other disasters before the cameras gaze.
I can't help putting this quote from Woody Allen. When asked if he was a glass half full or a glass half empty person Woody replied that he was a glass half full, but that the glass was half full of poison.