(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘street photography

“An ordinary life isn’t ordinary when you put a frame around a moment”*…




Joel Meyerowitz is a pioneer of street photography. He started in the early 1960s in New York City, using color film when most other photographers were shooting in black-and-white. He’s had exhibitions of his work all over the world, and has published more than 30 books. A retrospective of his work is scheduled to be shown in Berlin later this year, and he’s working on a new project of self-portraits. At age 82, he’s continuing to explore the medium of photography every day…

camelcoats 001

An interview with Meyerowitz, including his thoughts on street photography in the time of coronavirus (with memories of 9/11): “Ready for Surprise.”

* Joel Meyerowitz


As we capture the moment, we might spare a thought for another extraordinary street photographer, Vivian Dorothy Maier; she died on this date in 2009.  A nanny, mostly in Chicago’s North Shore, she took more than 150,000 photographs during her lifetime, primarily of the people and architecture of Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles– photographs that weren’t recognized until after her death.

A Chicago collector, John Maloof, acquired some of Maier’s photos in 2007, while two other Chicago-based collectors, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow, also found some of Maier’s prints and negatives in her boxes and suitcases around the same time.  Maier’s photographs were first published by Slattery on the Internet in July 2008; but the work received little response.  In October 2009, Maloof linked his blog to a selection of Maier’s photographs on Flickr [now collected on this site], and the results went viral, with thousands of people expressing interest.  Maier’s work subsequently attracted critical acclaim, and since then, has been exhibited around the world. Her life and work have been the subject of books and documentary films, including the Academy Award-nominated Finding Vivian Maier.





Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 21, 2020 at 1:01 am

“A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it”*…


Between 1977 and 1980, photographer Charles H. Traub [bio here] ventured onto the streets of Chicago, New York and various European cities to take photographs of their inhabitants–male and female, young and old-at lunchtime. Colorful and direct, animated and intimate, the portraits are shot close to the subjects, composed seemingly off-the-cuff, focusing on just their heads and shoulders. Each subject reveals something of himself or herself to the camera: the woman who takes the opportunity to pose in dignified profile or the one who purses her lips in an exaggerated pout, even the somewhat less fortunate subjects caught adjusting their glasses or blinking…

More from Traub’s trove at Lunch Time.

* Aldous Huxley


As we ponder prandially, we might note that today is in fact National Pack Your Lunch Day.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 10, 2016 at 1:01 am

Seizing the instant in its flight…

Hamburg, 1952-3 (The sign reads, “Looking for any kind of work.”)

We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was the father of modern photojournalism.  An early master of the 35mm format, he pioneered “street shooting” and more broadly, a form of candid photography that set the model– and the standard– for generations of photojournalists who’ve followed.  Indeed, after World War II (most of which he spent as a prisoner of war) and his first museum show (at MoMA in 1947), he joined Robert Capa and others in founding the Magnum photo agency, which enabled photojournalists to reach a broad audience through magazines such as Life, while retaining control over their work.

The first major retrospective of Cartier-Bresson’s work in the U.S. in three decades opens later today at MoMA in New York, where it will run until late June, then travel to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Readers can whet their appetites by visiting MoMa’s online gallery of Cartier-Bresson’s work.

Of all forms of expression, photography is the only one which seizes the instant in its flight.
– Henri Cartier-Bresson , 1968., The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson

As we reload our Brownies, we might recall that it was on this date in 1876 that a group that had started in 1868 in New York City as “The Jolly Corks” reorganized and renamed itself The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  After the death of a member of the Corks left his wife and children without income, the club took up additional service roles and rituals– and a new name.  Clear that they wanted to name their organization for “a readily identifiable creature of stature, indigenous to America,” the fifteen members couldn’t reach consensus on which one.  In the end, they voted 8-7 in favor of the elk over the buffalo.


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