Funny thing after being a news photographer for years and having no compunction about sticking my camera in somebody’s face without permission or notice, I find actual street photography very intimidating. But street photography has a great history and has been served by some amazing photographers.
If we go back to Weegee we can see street photography as it was in New York City decades ago. Weegee, whose real name was Arthur Fellig worked for New York dailies between 1935 and 1945 using a 4″X5″ Speed Graphic.
But he wasn’t the first. Henri Cartier-Bresson is considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. He started shooting with the newly introduced 35mm camera in the late 1920s using the iconic Leica rangefinder camera (You can buy a digital Leica M9 today.)
A modern street photographer Jay Maisel is one of my photo heroes. I attended a talk he gave when he was in Toronto last year and I loved it. Jay has shot New York City for decades. He owns a brownstone building from where he shoots often from his rooftop. Here’s a great video about Jay taken by Scott Kelby.
Now here’s a video that I just found. It’s from 1981 and it’s about Joel Meyerowitz who also shot in New York City. The video is an educational tour of street photography and despite its rather amateurish presentation is pretty neat to watch.
I do this in mind of Podcamp Toronto which is coming up next weekend. Think I’ll take the Olympus Pen E-PL5 with a fast lens and see what happens.
BTW I’ve got a copy of Robert Frank’s The Americans. Printed in Germany it has a forward by Jack Kerouac. Shot in 1955-56 it’s a classic.