Garry Winogrand

Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed/ Garry Winogrand.

Garry Winogrand was one of the most famous street photographers of the 20s century. Winogrand depicted life of ordinary Americans. His pictures are recognizable and remarkable. Winogrand managed to depict the most significant and important events of the American history of the 20s century. At the same time Winogrand had very peculiar point of view regarding to photography. He was sure that “a photograph is not what was photographed, it’s something else”. At first sight his pictures are very simple but they catch your attention and you are ready to spend some time trying to scan the images to see more details. Many of his pictures are narrative. Fairly enough they could be compared with cinematographic shots. At the same time he admitted that his photos did not have any narrative content as “they only describe light on surface”.

It seems like he was ironical about his own images. “Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts”. It seems like Winogrand didn’t look for something specific or peculiar. He was looking for something interesting and tried to understand why it was interesting. Winogrand was sure that the final result should be much better than the object was in real life. In fact his thoughts on photography are full of irony. Thus once he admitted that “the great photography is always on the edge of failure”. Well, there is something in it.

Some New Yorkers remember Winogrand wondering around the streets of the Big Apple with his Leica and taking pictures of seemingly unimportant events. Photography had been intriguing and captivating for Winogrand all the time. It was his passion. Indeed looking at his pictures one has a feeling of peeping out from behind a shoulder. Looking through his pictures there is a feeling all these events take place here and now. His shots are timeless and vivid. “I don’t have messages in my pictures… The true business of photography is to capture a bit of reality (whatever that is) on film…if, later, the reality means something to someone else, so much the better”.

It was really interesting for Winogrand to reveal the influence of different media on people. He wanted to understand how media changed attitudes of people.


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