Saturday, July 19, 2008


Austin, Texas 1976

I mentioned yesterday about Gary Winogrand's method of working and made reference to this image. He was not one to like having the camera pointed in his direction especially when he was "stalking" people. He kept his camera (Lecia M4 with a 28mm lens) at his side, than would literally whip it up to his eye and hit the shutter, bring the camera back to his side all in one motion. On that down-stroke, he would thumb the wind lever. It would all take place in about two seconds. I very much remember how I made this image: I was on my way to the camera department at the Coop, and had with me my Nikon F2 and 200mm f/4 Nikkor. I saw Gary standing in the crowd on The Drag, and using his technique of keeping the camera out of sight until actually taking the shot, I waited for the crowd to part. How lucky can you get: Gary with his hand to his chin studying the crowd, and a blind man between Gary and myself doing the same thing. In Gary's terms, he would be sensing the crowd much like the blind man. Note that black outline on the image proving it was an image seen full-frame -- it was a 70's thing. BTW, Gary is carrying a cane because he was still recovering from breaking his leg at a UTAustin football game the previous fall. He was on the side lines and got run over by a player.


Anonymous said...

When this picture was taken, I was 25 years old and working at UT. I often saw Winogrand working the scene on the Drag, but didn't know who he was. I appreciate your professional admiration for his technique, but personally I considered him very predatory and was creeped out by his presence.
An age and gender difference perhaps?

Your much younger wife,

Anonymous said...

Great shot, Frank!
I have seen only one bit of video of Winogrand at work. It is from the PBS series "Photographic Vision," produced in the 1980s. The clips show him working almost as you describe, except that he had added a motor drive to his Leica and was blasting off multiple frames. Even though he was visibly thrown by having the camera crew follow him around, you could see the concentration and intensity.


FirstPersonArts said...

That's a great image with a lovely backstory. Neat!

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