Garry Winogrand

Garry Winogrand was a street photographer known for portraying the life of the United States within his images throughout the 20 century. Most of his photographs depict the social issues of that time and the role of the media. His first book that he published in 1969 included two of his well know photographs, ‘Bronx Zoo’ and ‘Coney Island’, a collection of pictures that observes the connections between animals and humans.

Garry shot 700 rolls of films at public events, producing 6,500 eleven by fourteen inch prints between 1969 and 1976. Between 1952 and 1954, Gary worked as a commercial photographer at the Pix photo Agency in Manhattan and from 1954 at Brackman Associates. His photographs powerfully combine the hope and exhilaration as well as the anxiety and turbulence that characterized America during its vital years. Garry completed most of his photo taking in New York City in the 1960s, but he also photographed places such as California, Texas and Chicago. Most of his photographs trace the mood of America itself, showing its chaos and depression that was going on in the 1960s.

At the time of Garry Winogrands death, there was discovered 2,500 rolls of undeveloped film, 6,500 rolls of developed but not proofed exposures, and contact sheets made from 3,000 rolls. The Garry Winogrand archive at the Centre for creative photography contains over 20,000 fine work prints, 20,000 contact sheets, 100,000 negatives and 30,500 35 mm colour slides as well as a small group of Polaroid prints and several amateur motion picture films of his work.

The great thing about Garry’s documentary photography is that he has the ability to produce pictures richly complex to their description. His images are intriguing, interesting, you feel like you were there when he took it. This is because within his images a lot is happening in them most of the time, so the human mind notices these things and connects with it, giving you the feeling that you’re in that picture, a great technique that Garry has managed to use successfully so that documentary comes across real and truthful. Whenever Garry photographed a scene, he wanted it to tell a story about the life of America. After seeing how he naturally documented people’s lives, I wanted to see more of his work to get ideas for my shoots, ideas of what to document as I photograph. I came across a book that he published ‘Figments from the real world’. The book contains the development of Winogrands pictorial strategies during his years as a photojournalist, the increasing complexity of his motifs as he pursued more personal goals, and the challenge posed for other photographers by the powerful and distinctive authority of Winogrands best work, with its manic sense of a life balanced somewhere between animal high spirits and an apprehension of moral disaster.


I was influenced by this book to go out and photograph ordinary people in the street, close-ups as well as distance, putting together a collection of images that represent that town’s vibe and surroundings. I got more influences from another book that I looked at of Garry Winogrand ‘The man in the crowd’. This book was not created by himself as most of the work within it are images that were found undeveloped after his death which were then processed later on and put together. However by looking at these images, I have created new ideas to put towards my project now that I have a greater understanding of the ways in which street photography can be photographed.


Website: Viewed 22/11/14

Nation Gallery of art- Viewed 22/11/14

Garry Winogrand talks:

Viewed 22/11/14

Book: John Szarkowski, Garry Winogrand.1988.Figments from the real world. Museum of modern art.

Book: Garry Winogrand, Frish Brandt.1999-01-02.The man in the crowd. Fraenkel Gallery