Not sure how far this has made it around, but I saw a small link to this on the lightstalkers alerts section and was enchanted. Robert Frank spoke to, and was recorded by, the New York Times. They put together an ‘interactive feature’ called On the Road.
There is also an article and interview with Frank appearing in the Times: “Robert Frank’s Snapshots From the Road”. The first fascinating thing is that there is to be an exhibition in Washington DC at the National Gallery of Art titled “Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans” from January 18 through April 26, 2009. The article is unclear (really really unclear), but there might be some (or all? that’d be nice) of the contact sheets from the 767 rolls shot shown at the exhibition or published in an accompanying book.
In the multimedia piece Frank describes the above picture as his favorite from the book, because of the movement and variety of people on the street. It has always been a wondrous, cornerstone picture for me too. (One of so so many from the book). It has such a new feel, such an important composition and feeling. There is a connection between the photographer and scene far beyond the surface.
I first saw The Americans in highschool and it really did change the way I looked at pictures… “you can really take pictures like this?”. So it must have had something to do, subconsciously, with this picture of mine, which is also a favorite of my own work … for many the same reasons as Frank likes his picture. ‘Decisive moments’ with crowds of people… I for one can admit to not even remembering snapping the shutter at the scene. It was a wonder to find in the negatives.. a magical moment. Another one of those scenes felt more than seen.
Another place I’ve seen a similar photograph is this fascinating image from Brazil by Alex Majoli. I’d love a print of that..