Bystander: A History of Street Photography
When was it? Seven years ago? I was working in a bookstore in a photography gallery and I had access to a tattered copy of the original version of this book from 1994. I looked through
I guess it was five years ago, I went through a phase when I was photographing constantly on the street, mostly in film. I came across this book again at the University library where I had spent the cold winter reading. When I started ordering books for The Camera Store, this was the book I wanted for our customers the most, given that the most interesting photographers in Calgary may be given to the category, or genre, of street photography. The unfortunate thing is it was out of print. Now, thankfully, the book is available again from the same publisher that has made our best-selling “Read this Book if You Want…” series.
“Bystander: A History of Street Photography” is the only comprehensive survey of its kind. It is hard for me to separate my changing perspectives from
I think the last section, now revised, is also a benefit, reading about Joel Meyerowitz’ working habits is valuable, inasmuch as a master practitioner relaying the kernel of experience is worth its weight in gold. So, if you are working as a photographer, this book is essential insofar as learning about the past does seem to abrogate the chance of making boring pictures. But, I think the greater interest in this book is historical. The section of Jacques Henri-
I take Anthony Hernandez as the stylistic forerunner of this subversion, and Jeff Wall’s comment about how Hernandez broke away from a formal attitude that would have otherwise marked his work as “representative of the genre” as a directive. “Bystander” makes bare mention of the new currents in style in “street” photography right now, only because it hardly can, given that this age is just coming to light on corners of Instagram. The new photography is not as direct as the French primitive “