Elliott Erwitt Answers My Questions

We recently started a discussion around the question “Why is Street Photography Dominated by Black and White?” and we had some great comments from the readers. Shortly thereafter, I got an email from the folks at TeNeues with regard to the “Elliot Erwitt Photo Caption Contest” I had talked about. They said that they would be interviewing Elliott the next day and wanted to know if I had any questions for him.

Well… I thought that it would be cool to have a master of street photography weigh in on the conversation. So I sent the “Why is street photography dominated by black and white?” question along with “Do you ever get anxious taking pictures of people in public?” Both questions were answered in their short interview — very cool! Here’s a link to the video that they posted on FaceBook.

Hop over there and check it out — they have a pretty good set of questions, and Elliott answers them in his usual humorous manner.

4 thoughts on “Elliott Erwitt Answers My Questions

  1. jeremy

    I’ve never heard of Elliott Erwitt

    However neither of your questions has any relevance.

    It is obvious to any photographer why b&w dominates street photography, in that colour photography came along 100 years late.

    Secondly, no matter what Mr Erwitt feels about approaching someone doesn’t have any bearing on how another photographer may feel.

    Come on Brian. It is one thing to ask questions of a photographer, but to feel proud of such questions? I don’t think so

  2. Brian Auer Post author

    Really? Never heard of Erwitt? You must have seen his work at some point. The guy is a living legend.

    And I’m not sure what you mean by my questions not having any relevance… relevance to what exactly? Was there a theme or something that I overlooked?

    As for color photography, it didn’t come along 100 years late. Kodachrome? 1935 perhaps? Most of the masters of street photography would have had access to color film at some point in their career. And some street photographers did shoot color, but b/w still dominated the scene.

    I had hoped for more of a response with the anxiety question because that’s a big hurdle in street photography for many people and I was curious if Erwitt also deals with it. But Elliott can be quite short with some of his answers in interviews, and that was the case with this one. My original question actually asked if he had ever been anxious shooting on the streets and if so, how he overcame that anxiety. My question was shortened by the interviewer.

  3. Bjorn

    Wish I could have watched it, but videos via facebook suck. So it didn’t play. :)

  4. jeremy

    Colour was not taken seriously by art & street photographers, as it was seen as gimicky. OK so it was 96 years later than b&w.

    What I meant by relevance, is that we do what we do, what difference does his opinion make to you me or anyone else.

    I see your point regarding the second question. In full, it makes a lot of sense. It’s a pity it was cut short.

    I checked out his photos. I can see why he’s popular. Thanks for the heads up on him.

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