Tag Archives: The Americans

Eight Photographers on Their Favorite Image from Robert Frank’s “The Americans”

The photograph of Robert’s that was a significant turning point for me is “Canal Street—New Orleans.” This image had always puzzled me, as if it were saying, “See this undifferentiated mass of pedestrians? It’s worthy of an image.” But why? I asked myself dozens of times as I paged through “The Americans.” Why did Robert make this photograph? What was he thinking? Why did he use it in the book when it seems so generalized? Over time, I came to realize that the reasons for making a photograph and what it may mean to you later are two different things, and what it means to somebody else is yet another. This image came to life for me years after I first puzzled about it, when I was undertaking a transformation in my own work and realized that Robert had planted a seed that was then sprouting.—Joel Meyerowitz

Source: Eight Photographers on Their Favorite Image from Robert Frank’s “The Americans”