Joel Meyerowitz | Black & White Work

Posted: April 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Film, New York City, Photography, Quotes

Wyoming, 1964 © Joel Meyerowitz

Wyoming, 1964 © Joel Meyerowitz

The best way is to look at the ‘old guys’ like Brassaï and Atget. The street teaches you to act quickly when you see something. If you don’t, you miss it!

- Joel Meyerowitz

Malaga, Spain, 1967 © Joel Meyerowitz

Malaga, Spain, 1967 © Joel Meyerowitz

Time Square, 1965 © Joel Meyerowitz

Time Square, 1965 © Joel Meyerowitz

Pool in Southwest, 1971 © Joel Meyerowitz

Pool in Southwest, 1971 © Joel Meyerowitz

Central Park, 1965 © Joel Meyerowitz

Central Park, 1965 © Joel Meyerowitz

Speaking of his mentor, Robert Frank:

He was a real loner. Sometimes when I ran into him he would send me away.

- Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, Times Square, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, Times Square, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1962 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1962 © Joel Meyerowitz

Christmas at Kennedy Airport, 1968 © Joel Meyerowitz

Christmas at Kennedy Airport, 1968 © Joel Meyerowitz


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Joel Meyerowitz | Taking My Time

Posted: March 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Books, Photography, Quotes

Joel Meyerowitz has had a retrospective published in 2012 by Phaidon in conjunction with a traveling exhibit of his work.

For more on his book, click here.

From Le Journal de la Photographie:

His 1962 encounter with Robert Frank encouraged him to walk through the streets of New York with a 35 mm camera and a color film. His first book “Cape Light“ is considered a classic of color photography and features some of his most famous pictures, in which he explores the variations of colors when in contact with light.

He shoots with both a 35 mm camera and a large format Deardorff 20×25. Few photographers are capable of working in these formats, the two being quite different languages. One is able to capture the decisive instant with a 35 mm camera; while the large format camera reveals the beauty of reality thanks to the long exposure.

New York City © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City © Joel Meyerowitz

Paris, 1976 © Joel Meyerowitz

Paris, 1976 © Joel Meyerowitz

Paris, 1976 © Joel Meyerowitz

Paris, 1976 © Joel Meyerowitz

 

 

A young man lies on the sidewalk with his arms outstretched. A workman with a hammer casually steps over his fallen body. A crowd stands at the entrance to the métro, stunned by curiosity into inaction. A cyclist and a pedestrian each turn over their shoulders to catch a last glimpse, while around them the traffic glides by. Which is the greater drama of life in the city: the fictitious clash between two figures that is implied, or the indifference of the one to the other that is actual? A photograph allows such contradictions to exist in everyday life; more than that, it encourages them. Photography is about being exquisitely present.

-Joel Meyerowitz

Roseville Cottages, Truro, Massachusetts, 1976 © Joel Meyerowitz

Roseville Cottages, Truro, Massachusetts, 1976 © Joel Meyerowitz

Smoke in rising sunlight, New York City, 2001 © Joel Meyerowitz

Smoke in rising sunlight, New York City, 2001 © Joel Meyerowitz

Young Girl, Cape Cod, 1979 © Joel Meyerowitz

Young Girl, Cape Cod, 1979 © Joel Meyerowitz

5th Avenue,1975 © Joel Meyerowitz

5th Avenue,1975 © Joel Meyerowitz

Florida, 1968 © Joel Meyerowitz

Florida, 1968 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz

Bulgaria, 1967 © Joel Meyerowitz

Bulgaria, 1967 © Joel Meyerowitz

Butte, Montana, 1964 © Joel Meyerowitz

Butte, Montana, 1964 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz

New York City, 1963 © Joel Meyerowitz


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Robert Frank | Paris New Year, 1949

Posted: April 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Film, Photography, Poetry

…if one is sensitive, it has an effect on you. So maybe it’s better not to be sensitive as a photographer and just go on. Many photographers today have that but I never had that. I think it’s nice to be sensitive as a photographer and maybe it’s harder.

-Robert Frank

Paris New Year (Young Man with Tulip), 1949 © Robert Frank

Paris New Year (Young Man with Tulip), 1949 © Robert Frank


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Robert Frank | London & Wales

Posted: May 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Books, Film, Photography, Quotes

Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.

-Robert Frank

London 1952-53, Robert Frank

London 1952-53, Robert Frank

London 1951, Robert Frank

London 1951, Robert Frank

London 1952-53 © Robert Frank

London 1952-53 © Robert Frank

 Caerau, Wales 1953 © Robert Frank

Caerau, Wales 1953 © Robert Frank

London 1951-52 © Robert Frank

London 1951-52 © Robert Frank

London 1952-53 © Robert Frank

London 1952 -53 © Robert Frank

London 1951-52 © Robert Frank

London 1951-52 © Robert Frank

Ben James and His Wife, Wales 1953 © Robert Frank

Ben James and His Wife, Wales 1953 © Robert Frank

Ben James, Wales 1953 © Robert Frank

Ben James, Wales 1953 © Robert Frank


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Robert Frank | Los Angeles

Posted: December 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Books, Film, Los Angeles, Photography, Quotes

To live for two months in LA is like being hospitalized.

-Robert Frank, February 27, 1956; from a letter to Walker Evans, while Frank was applying for a continuance of his Guggenheim grant.

Los Angeles, 1956, Robert Frank

Los Angeles, 1956, Robert Frank

Los Angeles, 1956, Robert Frank

Los Angeles, 1956, Robert Frank

Los Angeles, 1956 © Robert Frank

Los Angeles, 1956, Robert Frank

St. Francis, Gas Station and City Hall – Los Angeles, 1956, Robert Frank

St. Francis, Gas Station and City Hall – Los Angeles, 1956, Robert Frank

Ranch market, Hollywood, California, Robert Frank

Ranch market, Hollywood, California, Robert Frank

Motorama, Los Angeles, California, Robert Frank

Motorama, Los Angeles, California, Robert Frank


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Robert Frank | New Yorker Article on “The Americans”

Posted: September 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Books, Film, Photography

There is an excellent article in the September 14th issue of the New Yorker, detailing Robert Frank’s journey across the States and a review of the book Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Americans.”

Rodeo, New York City, 1954, Robert Frank

Rodeo, New York City, 1954, Robert Frank "The Americans"

Anthony Lane writes in the article:

It had been a year, more or less, since he embarked, and there was much to reflect upon. Luckily, he’d taken a few photographs along the way.

In fact, he took around twenty-seven thousand. There were more than seven hundred and sixty rolls of film to develop: an impressive tally, even to snap-happy profligates of the digital age. Then there were contact sheets to print and mark up; from those, he made a thousand work prints, which were tacked to the walls of his apartment on Third Avenue, near Tenth Street, or laid flat on the floor for closer inspection, before being whittled down to a hundred. The final count, from all those months on the road, was eighty-three pictures: enough for a slim book, which was published in November, 1958, in Paris, as “Les Américains,” and here, in January, 1960, as “The Americans.” For his pains, Frank was paid two hundred dollars in advance, a sum that rose to just over eight hundred and seventeen dollars by the end of the year. By then, the book was out of print.

The original book from 1959:

Robert Frank ‘The Americans’ New York: Grove Press 1959

Robert Frank ‘The Americans’ New York: Grove Press 1959

Trolley, New Orleans, 1955, Robert Frank "The Americans"

Trolley, New Orleans, 1955, Robert Frank "The Americans"

Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955, Robert Frank "The Americans"

Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955, Robert Frank "The Americans"

Indianapolis, 1955, Robert Frank "The Americans"

Indianapolis, 1955, Robert Frank "The Americans"

Additional contact sheets from the hardcover edition of “Looking In”:

proof sheets from Robert Frank's "The Americans: Looking In"

proof sheets from Looking In: Robert Frank's " The Americans "


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Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Americans”

Posted: September 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Books, Film, Photography, Quotes

September 22, 2009 through January 3, 2010, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be hosting the exhibit, Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, the exhibit has traveled from DC to San Francisco, ending in New York. The new exhibit and book are a celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Americans, one of the most influential single series of photographs ever published. The exhibit will feature all 83 photos from the book that were made on his cross-country road trip from 1955-56.

On Friday, October 9th, Robert Frank will be appearing in conversation with the curators and organizers of this presentation at the Met. Do not miss this, as Frank does not make many public appearances these days. Purchase tickets here. I already have mine and am sure it will sell out soon.

Whether you attend or not, purchase the book right now. The expanded hardcover features 83 pages of contact sheets which are a treasure unto themselves (the softcover is an abridged version and does not offer all of the contact sheets.) I have had the book for two weeks and have barely made a dent in it because of the richness offered and the lessons to be learned. The Americans and Robert Frank’s body of work were already inestimable contributions and as familiar as I am with those 83 images, I am stunned by how little I understood the skill and remarkable taste Frank had in his choices, the sequencing of the images, cropping and yes, even grant writing (the original letters are included.)

It is truly an eye-opening experience into how complete his talents are and how the mix of of them achieved a perfect balance with The Americans.

The one thing I will share is the tiniest snippet of a lesson I am absorbing. The shot of the elevator girl in Miami Beach has always been a favorite of mine. Below is an excerpt from the contact sheet with that image on it. You can see Frank working the situation and the idea over 14 frames.

Cartier-Bresson once said of contact sheets:

My contact sheets may be compared to the way you drive a nail in a plank. First you give several light taps to build up a rhythm and align the nail with the wood. Then, much more quickly, and with as few strokes as possible, you hit the nail forcefully on the head and drive it in.

Robert_Frank_Elevator-Miami-Beach_1955sm

Elevator, Miami Beach, 1955, Robert Frank

robertfrank

Excerpt from contact sheet from the book: Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Americans”


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