I’ve received a few inquiries asking about the documentary footage of master street photographers I was referring to in my post on using the Fuji X-Pro1 for street work.
While I believe the best way to learn from the great photographers who practice street photography at the highest level, is to study their actual work – looking at their great photographs carefully and repeatedly – it’s also educational to see them while they’re working.
A perfect example of being inspired by watching others work is how that influenced Joel Meyerowitz. Watching Robert Frank at a photo shoot in the ’60’s drove Mr. Meyerowitz from his career path as an art director, into photography. A few years later, he also saw the great Cartier-Bresson at work, shooting the street.
Here are a few links to YouTube, starting with the great master, Henri Cartier-Bresson. This one is absolutely delightful to watch – HCB moves so lightly and unobtrusively on the street.
Another little documentary of Cartier-Bresson, has Andrei Pandele, an architect and photographer from Romania, recalling his days spent with HCB. Mr. Pandele describes HCB’s way of holding his Leica M’s in great detail.
Gary Winogrand, one the greatest street photographers of all time (and who despised the term, “street photographer”!) moves wonderfully in this documentary by Michael Engler from the ’80’s. Watch how he handles his Leica M4, always near his face, ready to shoot.
From the same documentary by Mr. Engler, is footage of Joel Meyerowitz at work on the streets of New York. Mr. Meyerowitz shoots fantastic street work both with a Leica and with an 8×10 view camera, in colour. He has been shooting on the street for over half a century and continues to produce strong work.
An amazing documentary and street photographer is the great Mary Ellen Mark. This is a good segment on her passion for street photography, although there’s no actual footage of her at work.