QUOTE: Garry Winogrand (1)

Next to St. Paul's on Thurlow St.,  the spring blooms have fallen. This one landed in the centre of an ivy leaf.

Next to St. Paul's on Thurlow St., the spring blooms have fallen. This one landed in the centre of an ivy leaf.

Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.

Garry Winogrand

One of the most prolific street photographers of his time and one of the most passionate, Garry Winogrand (1928-84) hated the term “street photographer” and simply saw himself as a “photographer”.

It was not until the late 50s, when he encountered Robert Frank’s seminal book of photographs, “The Americans”, that he began to see what he was doing as an art form.

Garry Winogrand, Marilyn Monroe, 1954

Garry Winogrand, Marilyn Monroe, 1954

Yet, unlike his contemporaries such as Frank and Diane Arbus, Winogrand’s work has never been extensively catalogued – he was notoriously bad at keeping his archives organised; he shot over 5 million photographs in his career.

Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca.1980–83

Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca.1980–83

Winogrand shot with a 28mm lens for most of his life, which meant that for the majority of his shots he had to be quite close to his subjects (and in front of them). He wasn’t trying to be invisible but was actively a part of the action and immersed in the crowds. Born the son of immigrant garment workers in the Bronx, Winogrand’s friends spoke of his “plebeian energy.”

Produced in 1982, two years before Winogrand died from cancer, this video gives us an up-close and personal perspective of this kinetic photographer.

Eric Kim's Street Photography blog has an excellent, in-depth article on Garry Winogrand.

As someone who enjoys street photography, I feel a strong identity to Winogrand and his sensibilities towards life on the street and his self-held views as a photographer.


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