The Power Of Color: Joel Meyerowitz’s Brilliant Street Photographs

"Like giants we are always hurling experience ahead of us to pave the future with against the day when we may want to strike a line of purpose across it for somewhere" - Robert Frost

New York City, 1976

New York City, 1976

 

In 1962, Joel Meyerowitz (born March 6, 1938) was working as an art director job at a New York advertising agency. He realised his calling following a collaboration with photographer Robert Frank for a clothing brochure. “It was all so physical, balletic and magical,” said Meyerowitz. As he walked back to the office Meyerowitz “felt like I was reading the text of the street in a way that I never had before… It was the wonder of human nature and this incredible capacity for things to keep showing themselves to me.”

Meyerowitz quite his job. And with two Leica cameras (one loaded with black and white film and the other with color) embarked on a career a photographer.  “Black and white images have a power that colour cannot match,” opined British photographer Neil Libbert. Meyerowitz challenged and overturned that view.

 

New York City, 1975

New York City, 1975

 

“If we accept the idea that a photograph basically just describes things, then a color photograph describes more things, that there is more content in color and I wanted to see what those kinds of photographs might look like…

“Because of using colour my efforts on the street moved away from the ‘caught’ moment toward a more dispersed observation, toward an image in which everything played an equal role; the people on the street, the architecture, the quality of the day, the angle of the light, the weight of the shadows, the simultaneity of minor events…

“This overall-ness I called, ‘field photographs’. I meant them to be about the ‘experience’ of being on the street, in that specific city, on that day, in that precise season and year, so that viewers might experience for themselves what it felt like in that moment.”

– Joel Meyerowitz

 

New York City, 1973

New York City, 1973

Florida, 1970

Florida, 1970

 

“Photography takes place in a fraction of a second. There isn’t a lot of time to think about things. You have to hone your instinct. You learn to hone that skill and timing so you’re in the right place at the right time.”

–  Joel Meyerowitz 

 

New York, 1968

New York, 1968

New York City, 1963

New York City, 1963

Greece, 1967 Texas, 1968

Texas, 1968

Greece, 1967

Greece, 1967

New York City, 1965

New York City, 1965

Fallen Man, Paris, 1967

Fallen Man, Paris, 1967

New York City, 1975 offices

New York City, 1975

St Louis 1978

St Louis 1978

St Louis 1978

St Louis 1978

Florida, 1967

Florida, 1967

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 1968

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 1968

Couple, Indianapolis, 1965

Couple, Indianapolis, 1965

Christmas at Kennedy Airport, 1968

Christmas at Kennedy Airport, 1968

Florida, 1967

Florida, 1967

Mexico, 1965

Mexico, 1965

Broadway New York, 1976

Broadway New York, 1976

New York City, Times Square, 1963

New York City, Times Square, 1963

Los Angeles Airport, California, 1974

Los Angeles Airport, California, 1974

 

Via: beetlesandhuxley.comHoward Greenberg, Paper