I’m a huge fan of street photographer Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) and the above shot of Hollywood and Vine from  1969 is one of my favorites. John Szarkowski, Director of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, called Winogrand “the central photographer of his generation.” “Hollywood and Vine” is part of the permanent collection at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Find a larger version of the photograph here.

Why do I love this photo? For one thing, it’s packed with information — every inch seems to contain secrets waiting to be unlocked. The three women surrounded by beams of light seem mythological — the three graces strolling Hollywood Boulevard. The man in the wheel chair appears to wait for something — a cure, a friend, a few bucks, a blessing from the three graces? The woman in the hat waiting for the bus seems to have stood there since the beginning of time — the eternal waiter. The little boy on the bench stares through his round glasses at the man in the wheel chair, and the two of them become like ends of a scale, a balancing act — the boy looking to the future, while the man looks to the past. There is this and so much more — and it’s all reflected in the store windows.

You can borrow copies of Garry Winogrand’s books, including The Man in the Crowd, from libraries in most major cities. Do yourself a favor, check one out! I’d recommend Amazon, but most of Winogrand’s books are out of print and are selling for astronomical prices ($439.99!) — as noted here. One of the Amazon reviewers remarked: “It takes you forever to get through this book as you sit and look at each picture for a long, long time.” High praise indeed!