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Bystander: A History of Street Photography with a new Afterword on SP since the 1970s Paperback – August 15, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch; 1 Reprint edition (August 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821227262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821227268
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This substantial book embraces the history of street photography as social and cultural document. Generously illustrated with black-and-white photographs as well as a small selection of color images, the book touches upon the work of acknowledged masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz, Paul Strand, Bill Brandt, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, and many others. Farm Security Administration photographers, including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, also receive their due along with contemporary American photographers Weegee (Arthur Fellig), Gary Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, and Helen Levitt-to name just a few. This ambitious effort is perhaps most successful in bringing together the work of these classic photographers in a thoughtful, coherent study of this fascinating genre of photography. Westerbeck is associate curator of at the Art Institute of Chicago and Meyerowitz is a photographer (Bay/Sky, LJ 12/93). Highly recommended, especially for large public libraries and academic libraries.
Raymond Bial, Parkland Coll. Lib., Champaign, Ill.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

COLIN WESTERBECK is curator of photography at the Rat Institute of Chicago.JOEL MEYEROWITZ is best known for his large-format colour work but began his career as a street photographer in the 1960's.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By thatsanogood on April 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
first off, the authors do a fine job presenting to the reader an insightful history of street photography. they especially succeeded in explaining (or at least theorizing) how the various photographers came to create their respective photographic styles by finding sources of influence in modern art, architecture, and of course each other.
although there are other reviewers who believe the authors didn't give enough credit to hcb for shaping street photography into what it is today, it is important to note that even in the chapters which focus on the american photographers hcb is continuously cited as a major influence. just remember that this book is a history of street photography, not a bio of hcb!
i also agree with the reviewer who thought the photo placement within the book was a little inconvenient at times. but that minor problem does in no way detract from the overall value of such an insightful look at the history of street photography. enjoy!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
BYSTANDER embraces the social & cultural history of street photography. It touches upon the works of master photographers, yet leaves out so much about the actual photographs.
Trying to follow Meyerowitz's & Westerbeck's conversation, both obviously deeply emotional about the subject of street photography, simply went over my head in a rush of technical details & passionate positing as to why which photographer did what.
It is, however, the photographs in BYSTANDER that draw you back, again & again. The earliest ones that beg to have been enlarged, so rich in texture & composition; the later ones with their implicit social commentaries.
When we say that a picture is worth a thousand words, we're not kidding! Each & every photograph, even those that I couldn't make head nor tail, tell stories of our predecessors' lives & times, letting social history unravel before our eyes.
BYSTANDER is for everyone who loves to look at the past - the everyday, angular, shadow & light city past, through the window of a camera.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By sfysh@interlog.com on May 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful, detailed history and study of an area of photography usually lumped in with other forms of documentary photography or photojournalism. The quality of the commentary is extraordinary. My only criticism -- and it's a mild one -- was that often the photos referred to are not near the text.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard Drdul on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is more of a written history of street photography than a visual history. Too much space is given up to text, and there aren't enough images to satisfy.
Nevertheless, the book is an interesting read, or should I say an interesting skim. I skimmed through the text, stopping to read interesting bits here and there. Had those interesting bits been retained, much of the rest of the text eliminated and more images included, it would be a 5-star book.
One other comment is that the emphasis is on American street photography, to the point that some notable non-American street photographers are excluded completely.
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