Blog #160 6/2/16
Street photography has a long, varied, and mostly interesting history. From the brilliant Henri Cartier-Bresson to Gary Winogrand, who seemed visually insatiable, to Bill Cunningham (now in his late 80’s), who prowls Manhattan for the New York Times, photographers who take pictures of ordinary people in public have created an essential part of the history of photography.
I’ve done my share of photography that I call “Street,” but my preferred approach is to put up temporary “rooms” or simple backdrops in order to combine the spontaneity of the street with the continuity and control of the studio. I’ve used this method to make portraits of homeless people in San Francisco (https://howardschatz.com/books.php?galleryID=29), Young people in rave clubs (http://schatzimages25years-glitterati.com/pages/clubs), and even inmates in prisons (http://schatzimages25years-glitterati.com/pages/prisoners).
I’m endlessly fascinated by faces, and what they may reveal about a person’s soul and inner life. By using these “outdoor studios,“ I can take people out of context to better focus on what they look like, what they’re wearing, and how they present themselves to me and my camera.
For anyone interested in faces, New York City is a paradise. There’s a tremendous vitality and diversity in the thousands of people who come to visit or stay, from all over the country and the world.
The portraits here were all made in Manhattan’s Union Square, where a wonderful spectrum of people come to see and be seen. When I approached passersby and asked if I could take their portrait, I promised to e-mail them a jpg and that it would be fun. Perhaps because they found the idea of a photo by a real photographer, not just another iPhone selfie, appealing, almost everyone said, “Yes.”
Here are some of the photographs I made on a warm summer day
that turned into night because I could not get enough.
Glitterati Incoprorated, the publisher of the Retrospective, Schatz Images: 25 Years is now offering the two- book boxed set at a discount from the original price. The set comes with an 11″x14” print of the buyer’s choice.