Perspectives of a Street Photographer

For Joel Meyerowitz, being a street photographer is more than just taking good photographs, it’s about taking images that are capable of awakening emotion and┬áconsciousness. He is a fond believer that photographs should, not only make a person feel alive, but give them a feeling of having experienced the context of his photographs as though they were there when it was taken. Having been a street photographer for over 50 years, Meyerowitz has seen a lot. One of the more memorable experiences he has been witness to is The World Trade Center tragedy, which he recounts during a recent interview for Leica:

“They think of photography as pictures, and it is, but I think of photography as ideas. The pictures sustain your ideas…”

When working on his World Trade Center project, Meyerowitz, shot on 4 x 5 and 6 x 7 medium format┬áLeica’s. Having the prints made at over 10-foot tall, he says he hoped that the size would help transport the imagination of the viewers into the reality of the photographs and add to the images authenticity. For the images that didn’t require a larger camera, Meyerowitz called on his Leica M series–a staple in many serious street photographers camera bag.

street photostreet from september

Meyerowitz would eventually capture over 8,000 photographs from Ground Zero, which covers both the destruction and eventual recovery of the site.

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3 responses to “Perspectives of a Street Photographer”

  1. Mike Penney says:

    4×5 and 6×7 leica’s?

  2. Paul Ferland says:

    Great video…I like how the default answer is always “No”. We are lucky in hindsight that someone pushed through.

  3. Yes Mike,

    great interview and context of Joel but do these ‘journalists’ get paid to write this copy? No such thing as a Leica 5 x 4 or 6 x 7. She probably means Mamiya or Cranham.

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