The Work Of Famous Street Photographers

In the 1930s Kodak invented the 35mm film format, which gave rise to smaller cameras, that allowed people to shoot from the hip and take many photographs without having to change film. This revolution gave rise to the street photographer and arguably the first and most successful was Henri Carier Bresson. Cartier Bresson chased the decisive moment and spawn further famous street photographers, such as Garry Winogrand, William Klein, Robert Frank, Joel Mayrowitz and William Eggleston.

Before the invention of the 35mm format cameras were huge and unwieldy and very difficult to shoot from the hip. This was mainly because they required re-loading after every shot. The New York photographer Weegee the Famous used the 4×5 press camera to fantastic effect, and had an uncanny knack of being at New York crime scenes the moment they happened. This gave him legendary status among photographers and influenced many street photographers int he future.

The new film format and smaller camera gave rise to street photography, where young photographers could captures the decisive moments from the street. These new street photographers created images that were beautiful, disturbing and revealed a certain truth amount humanity. Cartier Bresson is considered to be the godfather of street photography, and his photographs often contained symbolism that captured the zeitgeist of 1930s Europe.

The Swiss photographer Robert Frank produced a seminal photo-book in 1958, called The Americans. Frank took a road trip across the United States and photographed the streets on his journey. These photographs are very critical of American culture and predictive of the future of America’s dominance throughout the world in the coming years.

In the 1960s William Klein began shooting the streets of New York with a high level of energy and exuberance. His photographs are shot off the hip and are often quite disturbing, with motion blur that created meaning and feeling in the photographs. At the same time Garry Winogrand was also shooting the streets of New York, and he produced some of his most famous work in the zoos of Central Park and The Bronx.

The majority of street photographers up until the 1960s shot in black and white, as this was considered more artistic. However; photographers in the 1970s began to experiment with color, this was initially frowned upon by the artistic community of the time.

Joel Mayrowitz and William Eggleston began to shoot the world in color during the 1970s. Joel Mayrowitz began shooting in color in the 1970s because he wanted to capture as much detail from his photographs as possible, and began to believe that as the world is in color, it should be photographed in colored. He also returned to the large view camera for his street photography, which he used to capture large street scenes and portraits in exquisite detail.

The photographer William Eggleston took color images of the American South. His subjects would normally be considered boring and mundane, but he shot in such as way that he made them look beautiful and artistic. He is considered to be one of the most important famous street photographers of all time.

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