Garry Winogrand

For my the Art of Photography course and especially my final assignment which looks at social documentary photography. I have chosen to look at the street photography Garry Winogrand, a well respected American photographer who worked looking at America and the people throughout the mid 20th century. Looking at social issues and the people of the nation he built up a large body of work.

He grew up in a largely Jewish area of the Bronx in New York with both of his parents. He studied painting before going on to study photography at Columbia University. He also studied under Alexey Brodovich in photojournalism at the New School for Social Research.

He first broke into the industries eye when he had two photographers included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he would then go onto have his first solo show at the Image Gallery, New York in 1959. In the early 1960’s he was often on the streets of New York photographing with the likes of Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus and in 1963 his first notable inclusion in an exhibition happened when he was included in another exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art called Five Unrelated Photographers.

He continued throughout his career looking at the people of America, receiving three Guggenheim Fellowship Awards and producing a number of books and exhibitions both during his life and posthumously.

It is through looking at his images that I have become inspired, Winogrand once said “I learn from them” this was close to his death at the young age of 56 and shows that as a photographer the learning curve is always changing and evolving and there is always room to develop further. It is with this mindset I like to keep myself and through looking at his work the images that stand out grab the attention by being full of content that is photographed to draw you in to be a part of it.


This beautifully balanced photographer is composed in a such a way that we see two sides of an image separated by the curb leading down into the image. the foreground person stood perfectly on a circular man hole cover acting as if she was on a plinth. This raising her above the rest of the image in symbolism. I love the demeanour of the short gentleman walking into the road, his step highlighted with the foot of the ground and his head turned slightly with his eyes staring up at the women, giving her an almost mystical element coupled with her posture and stance on the circular mark on the ground.


This second image of Garry Winogrand is a perfect example of timing and luck. The beautiful light leading down the street offering the photographer the long shadows coupled with the reflections that give them an abstract impression are perfect planning of positioning and time but the beautiful composition of the three ladies is perfect luck, the strength of the shadows alternating at each layer while the wheelchair bound person is bent over in his chair in the dark shadows really captures the contrast in society perfectly and says a lot about the Los Angles mentality as we can see the walk of fame star in the foreground.



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