Joel Meyerowitz

I talked with Brent Phelps yesterday about the missing crux in my thesis. The issue of influences and where I am placing myself in the medium came up. I started going on and on about how my work started with humanism and is moving toward American photography, like what Joel Meyerowitz did back in the day when he plugged into color. He had his Leica and Kodachrome. I have digital camera and 24mm f1.4 lens. This choice is obvious for me, like the Leica was for him.

The hard part of me is to stand back. My newspaper years trained me to get in close. The photographic problems I am dealing with now are: How far back can I stand? How small can people be? Does there need to be obvious action in the frame? Can I improve upon what Meyerowitz did? How is digital different when it comes to photographic description?

I want stand back, fill the frame and describe. “You placed yourself in the medium,” Brent said. Great I thought to myself, it always seems to be the periphery thoughts. I had read a fair amount of Meyerowitz and undstand his dialect of photography, but I was not expecting to line myself up with him like I did. This interview with him on The Candid Frame really brings out his directness and passion for photography. I need to head back to the library and check out a few books and focus my research, again.

This video shows his passion for photography and how you can easily blend in on the public stage. Watching him work makes me want to take pictures. Like this one. This picture is better than any Eggleston.

NYC, West 46th Street, 1976

NYC, West 46th Street, 1976

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