Great Winogrand Article

agentlossing

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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
I'll first admit that I stole this from over at DPReview, here is the link to the post: Winogrand Interview Note that the link I am talking about is the second link posted by the OP, a few posts down.

I found myself nodding along to Garry Winogrand's words as they're related in this piece, which was originally published in 1988. In particular, he really resonates with me when he talks about going out without preconceptions, and not preplanning or expecting to shoot a particular thing. As well, the way he distances himself from the feelings he had when he took the shots by waiting a long time to develop and view his images, something which we've all but forgotten nowadays but which I think can really help kind of wade through the photographs we take digitally. We tend to take more images but it's even harder to curate them because we view them so quickly that there is a sort of unbroken link from pressing the shutter to sharing or printing them. All that does is muddy the intrinsic value of the image, because I find myself seeing more what I envisioned when I decided to take the picture, than the effectiveness of the actual end product.

Thoughts? I really like Winogrand's work. He was a bit of a weirdo, but I don't think I've seen anyone else's work so effectively use the edges of the frame. He could gather so much into a 28mm FoV and yet it harmonized so well.

 

Kevin

Code Monkey 🐒
Interesting read, thanks. 👍
He never developed film right after shooting it. He deliberately waited a year or two, so he would have virtually no memory of the act of taking an individual photograph.
In the digital age of 2020 the above struck out at me. I can't help but ponder now the notion of doing a random walkabout and then tossing the memory cards in a drawer somewhere to be found another day or, perhaps, even by somebody else.
 

agentlossing

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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
Interesting read, thanks. 👍
In the digital age of 2020 the above struck out at me. I can't help but ponder now the notion of doing a random walkabout and then tossing the memory cards in a drawer somewhere to be found another day or, perhaps, even by somebody else.
I've thought about it too. Or, at least, how to distance myself from the images long enough to lose most of the immediacy of taking them. Especially when I shoot street, which I only get the chance to do rarely after hours of travel (seriously, you can't shoot small town people candidly in a town where everybody knows each other, I'd be a weirdo) I come with lots of expectations and have a really hard time seeing my results for what they actually are instead of what I wanted them to be when I took the shot. It would be nice to be able to take photos of all sorts without ever feeling like I am trying to prove something to someone, or myself.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Lexington, VA
Real Name
Steve
I download my cards to a hard drive. I look through and post a few. Then I don’t really look at them. Often one of our photo challenges causes me to go looking, and I can be really surprised. His method makes a kind of sense because I find myself inadvertently using it.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey 🐒
(seriously, you can't shoot small town people candidly in a town where everybody knows each other, I'd be a weirdo)
I have that exact thought every time I read about somebody's method of street shooting strangers in cities. I'm in the part of the suburbs where from our house 2 miles in one direction is downtown 'main street' while going 2 miles in the opposite direction are orchards and dairy farms; if I was to walk around taking pictures of people randomly it wouldn't be long before I'd be quickly well known around town with a given nickname, warnings will spread around town & online to avoid me if seen on the street, I shouldn't be surprised if anybody was to react physically after having their picture taken, sooner-or-later a statement released by the local police department that while random picture taking in public is legal that residents should still take caution and report individuals to the police if they feel threatened, and I would end up either moving away or becoming a hermit.

🤣
 

agentlossing

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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
Yep, I don't think the West Coast US is very keen on street photography, with the biggest exception I've seen being Seattle, where most people don't seem to care. I found less reaction to my shooting in Boston, Philly and NYC, though I have only spent a collective week in those cities put together.

I find the best opportunities to be where normal city life and tourists mix, like Pike Place Market in Seattle. The key is to be in a place where holding and aiming a camera are essentially invisible since they are common. People will notice you if you aiming a camera seems out of place. If it isn't, no one tends to notice you.

My little coastal town of 3K people is not the kind of place I want. Except shooting tourists in summertime, but tourists all look so boring!
 
I knew the article already but it's still a great read. There are some interviews with Garry Winogrand on Youtube as well, but they mostly are a bit long-winded.
I find the best opportunities to be where normal city life and tourists mix, like Pike Place Market in Seattle. The key is to be in a place where holding and aiming a camera are essentially invisible since they are common. People will notice you if you aiming a camera seems out of place. If it isn't, no one tends to notice you.
My home town has about 200K inhabitants, a reasonably large city by Dutch standards. At least a few days a week I head to the city center and do photography, sometimes classic street photography, sometimes more urban style. And indeed, the mix of tourists and locals make photographing fairly easy, I hardly ever get told off for taking pictures, I'm ignored really. There's also a shopping center at a 5 min. walk from my home, and that's a completely different story: people look at me with discontent when they see my camera and I quickly stopped photographing there, it didn't feel good. Another smaller shopping center at a 5 min. bike ride is again totally different: only locals there but they mostly look a bit amused when they see me and I've never seen anyone looking irritated at what I was doing. Apparently each area has its own atmosphere which makes itself felt very quickly in my experience.
 

Lightmancer

Legend
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Sunny Frimley
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Bill Palmer
Whenever I'm somewhere new I always seek out a pavement café or at minimum one with a window seat. I watch how people behave, how people are. There are factors - variables that are consistent worldwide that influence how I then shoot; weather, light, time of day and, as previously mentioned, the mix of locals to tourists.
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
"he talks about going out without preconceptions, and not preplanning or expecting to shoot a particular thing "

This falls in with the philosphy of "take a camera everywhere and see what happens."

Cheers, Jock
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
I love this line from the interview: "In the simplest sentence, I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed. "

One of those moments occurred just the other day. I was fooling around with my "crap" camera (the XP90, it lives in my coat pocket). There is very little you can control with the XP90, and in my experience, the more you try to control things, the worse the results become. So I've leaned to put in in full Auto mode and point and shoot.

I was wandering through the kitchen with the XP90 when the light coming through the window caught my eye, and I snapped a frame. The result is not at all what it looked like to my eye, but still it has a certain feel that I like.

XP90 kitchen 001.JPG


So now I know what it looks like photographed.

Cheers, Jock
 
In particular, he really resonates with me when he talks about going out without preconceptions, and not preplanning or expecting to shoot a particular thing. As well, the way he distances himself from the feelings he had when he took the shots by waiting a long time to develop and view his images, something which we've all but forgotten nowadays but which I think can really help kind of wade through the photographs we take digitally.
Unless I’m doing something specific such as a portrait shoot, or a rock show. This is how I always approach shooting. A couple of pals and I used to hop in my Jeep, pick a direction, and just wander counties to see what we find.

I don’t wait years. But I do like out days in between when I shoot and when I actually look at the images.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
The first interview, a longer one, is also quite good: Monkeys Make the Problem More Difficult - A Collective Interview with Garry Winogrand (1970)

It doesn't help that the header is an image which I don't like, that one seems like it was taken just to push buttons. So it certainly works to provoke the viewer, I just don't care for it. But I do like Winogrand's rambling, madman way of talking and I think I get what he is meaning to say most of the time.
 

T N Args

Regular
Interesting read, thanks. 👍
In the digital age of 2020 the above struck out at me. I can't help but ponder now the notion of doing a random walkabout and then tossing the memory cards in a drawer somewhere to be found another day or, perhaps, even by somebody else.
Most smartphone photographers will by then have replaced their phones along with all the photos sitting on it. Surely their reply to this notion would be blank incomprehension and the retort, "my IG/FB followers aren't interested in what I was doing (and wearing) yesterday, never mind 2 years ago."
 

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