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How Garry Winogrand Transformed Street Photography

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rick_reno, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Thanks for the posting. While I am not a street photographer at all, my interest in photography in the mid 1960s came from street photography.
  2. Now that's street photography the way I expect it to be done--raise the small camera and shoot. No messing with dials, composition, etc., etc.
  3. West


    Jan 2, 2012
    Vancouver BC
    "Winogrand talks of avoiding familiar modes of photographic aesthetics; his mode of virtual automatic photography was the technique by which he achieved the aesthetic"

    I don't know, not buying the "virtual automatic photography" style.
    This is good street photography IMHO ...
    Equinox Gallery Vancouver - Works by Fred Herzog
  4. Sounds like something the marketing arm of Nikon/Leica/New Yorker might come up with :rolleyes: :D 
  5. It's a style that I like--very different from Winogrand's. Herzog's was, in my mind, more cerebral and calculated, rather than "reactive".
  6. West


    Jan 2, 2012
    Vancouver BC
    I don't see ANY style in Winogrand's snaps. There are basic fundamentals to photography that everyone needs to follow, a level horizon being just a basic.
    Probably a drinking buddy to the guy who wrote the story :cool: 
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. I prefer Cartier-Bresson's style:

    "To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression."

    — Henri Cartier-Bresson


    I don't think Winograd ever thought about those principles. His was more "spray and pray".

    The article said he used a Leica with a 28mm lens. Was that 35mm film?
  8. One of Cartier-Bresson's most famous photos, and deservedly so in my opinion: Henri Cartier- Bresson, Boy Carrying a Wine Bottle, (Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1954)

    Cute follow-up story to that photo: When the subject celebrated his 50th birthday, he opened the door to see who was about to join the party. It was Cartier-Bresson holding two magnums just as the subject had done in the photo.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  9. Replytoken


    Jan 12, 2018
    Puget Sound
    Looking forward to the documentary. Folks tend to read a lot into Winogrand's photography, including the author of the linked article, perhaps more so than Winogrand himself. There is a quote attributed to him that I find interesting, if not amusing - “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed”. But the quote from him I try to keep in mind when viewing his work is as follows - “Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed”. I find some of his work brilliant, while some pieces I am indifferent to, or puzzled by.

    I had a photojournalist friend who died way to young a number of years ago and he had studied briefly with Winogrand when he taught in Texas in the early 1970's. He mastered a similar technique to Winogrand's. While he owned a lot of old Nikon gear, he frequently carried a beat up old Leica M4 (which I remember as having a lot of tape holding it together and possibly keeping the bottom plate attached), but it was strapped to his hand as if it was an appendage and he used it as such. He was able to reflexively change camera settings without a light meter or looking at the camera, and he could judge and adjust focus as he brought it up to shoot (although he did often zone focus as he usually shot with a 28mm). While speed and reflexes are not the only skills that are needed to make a good image, I respected that he was able to master these skills as well as he did. He was also meticulous in the dark room and I learned a lot from him about photography, and life, when we used to get together. Perhaps that biases my opinion of Winogrand, but I have always had a soft spot for street photography, photojournalism and documentary photography.

  10. Indeed.
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