Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Everything Is There

Robert Frank, Canal Street, New Orleans, 1955, from The Americans.

No matter how much I try to be hip and up-to-date, the photographs I loved as a student influence me, even though I haven't paid them much attention for years. There's something powerful about what you learn first.

In an interview with Philip Gefter in the New York Times, December 12, 2008, Frank says of the above photograph

It’s rare that you have that movement and the variety of people on the street. So many faces to look at. There’s a seriousness here.... That is one of my favorite pictures. The movement, the people walk this way and this way, they’re young and they’re old and they’re fat--everything is there.

He's talking about exactly what I'm trying to do--photograph everything, all at once. It's a feeling I get that there's so much happening everywhere all the time, and, maybe because I'm a photographer, I want to pin it down and make it hold still. But life and art have changed since 1955, and I'm glad I figured out a new way to do this.

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