Vivian Maier vs Everyday Tourist

Ever since I watched the documentary “Finding Vivian Maier” on Netflix early this year, I have become more intrigued by the connection between being a flaneur, being an everyday tourist and being a street photographer.

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Maier’s life is a touching story of a nanny who loved to explore the streets wherever she lived or went. She took over 150,000 photos during her lifetime mostly of the streets of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles and a trip around the world on her own in 1959 and 1960. The photos were unknown and unpublished during her lifetime. Her work was only discovered in boxes and suitcases after her death. The story is compelling…

Link: You Tube link to “Finding Vivian Maier.”


Colour vs Black & White

As an experiment I recently collected some of my street photographs from 2018 and a few from earlier years and started comparing them with Maier’s side-by-side. I was surprised to see how many times we had taken photos of similar subjects.

While all of my work is in colour, most of her’s is in black and white. I debated converting my photos to black and white so the comparison would be more apples to apples, but decided not to as my work has always been about colour.

However, there is one photo comparison at the end where both are black and white as I found a black and white photo I had taken that by chance echoed hers. Ironically they are both self-portraits.

It is interesting to compare and contrast the different perspectives, often Maier is closer too the people in the street, while I like to stand back. It is also interesting to compare how the street life has changed over the past 60+ years. It is hard to find a street photo today where there isn’t somebody with a cell phone.

This blog is in no way an attempt to suggest my photography is on par with Maier’s, but rather a personal experiment I wanted to document and share for feedback.

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I hope you enjoyed the cyber exhibition “Vivian Maier vs the Everyday Tourist” and will comment as you see fit.

Note: All of the Maier photos in this blog are screen shots taken from the Vivian Maier website which is worth exploring if you want to see more of her work.

If you like this blog, you will like these links:

Street Photography: Flaneuring in Berlin

Frankfurt’s Street Art Finds