Joel Meyerowitz - Fifth Avenue always amazed me!
Photographer recalls early days and just what it took to get the images that became part of photographic history
Last month photographer Joel Meyerowitz was in London to pick up yet more awards and give a sold out talk at the Photographers Gallery. Naturally, while Joel was here we sat him down for an hour or two and filmed him answering our many questions about his long and varied career, a career that's brilliantly encapsulated in a truly fantastic new Phaidon book called Taking My Time.
Joel began his long and varied career as a street photographer in New York, and in the first of our videos he recalls those days of early morning starts, fuelled by little more than a Danish pastry and a cup of coffee, and the endless pounding of the Manhattan sidewalks until, exhausted, he'd end up after dark in Times Square ready for some more.
"I just walked all day long. Up and down Fifth Avenue, through Central Park through the zoo, over to Times Square, back upon to Fifth Avenue, back and around the Plaza," Joel remembers. "It was as if I was a fishermen in the stream of Fifth Avenue, looking at the specimens that came up, 'ooh that's beautiful, but (it's for) another day - (and I'd throw it back in). I was sifting the human information that flows on the street. New York was designed as a grid and so the energy on the street is funnelled and when you participate in that you feel its dynamic."
This is the first of 10 Joel videos that we'll be rolling out over the coming weeks. Hope you enjoy it. Take a look at the book in our shop but if you're interested don't hang around, it's a limited edition. We're currently putting together a picture gallery from it to accompany the next video which we'll post later in the week. Stay tuned.