Jamal Shabazz

Documentary digs into NYC street photography

Cheryl Dunn casts a spotlight on nine decades of New York street photography — with some of the discipline’s best-known practitioners and a few unheralded ones — in her new documentary film, “Everybody Street.”

“If you want to get a really broad slice of humanity, you can find it in New York,” Dunn tells Wired. “Every kind of person is out there and I think that’s what’s attracted all these photographers.”

An image from 'Everybody Street.'
An image from ‘Everybody Street.’

The cast reads like a who’s-who of photographers known for their fleeting imagery of a different time in New York’s history and iconic imagery of the city’s inhabitants: Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Jill Freedman, Bruce Gilden, Joel Meyerowitz, Rebecca Lepkoff, Mary Ellen Mark, Jeff Mermelstein, Clayton Patterson, Ricky Powell, Jamel Shabazz, Martha Cooper and Boogie, as well as historians Max Kozloff and Luc Sante.

The “Everybody Street” Vimeo page contains selected clips from the interviews, including one in which Meyerowitz responds to a question of what makes a good photograph.

“I hitchhiked to Mexico, and in Mexico I saw this. It’s a shooting gallery, and in the shooting gallery there’s a wooden trunk, and in the trunk is a baby who’s screaming. Probably the gunshots,” he said. “I mean, I was able to see that that there was kind of an overall thing, rather than just looking at the baby. So, I think early on, I kind of developed a sense of, you know, what might make an interesting photograph.”

via New Film Profiles NYC’s Greatest Street Photographers