Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Robert Johnson: What Was He Thinking?

Robert Johnson's prolific website offers a nice dose of street photography from its heyday in the 1970s. Some of Johnson's current work can be found here.


"I am not really a morning person. On this day it was about 6 am, and it was only me and the dogs on the street. I very rarely ever take more then one image but I did that day. This is the best one. Dogs were free to roam the streets back then. A fun thing to witness."


"I can remember being in the back of a pretty small vehicle operated by a friend of mine. His girlfriend on the right was a shy person and did not get involved in a lot of conversations. The commutation with her was mostly through her eyes. I hope that it shows with this image."


"I shot this at a pizza parlor that I would often frequent during the evening hours. It was a busy place with a homey feeling. And, if you wait long enough people do look at each other. Sometimes all at once."


"This was shot on a pretty busy street at the time. The window of a neighborhood bar. I guess that not much was happening inside the bar that day. They all thought that the guy pointing a camera at them was the most interesting thing at that moment."


"This was shot at a mall that was a big deal at the time. They had to rip down a big percentage of the established small shops that made up our real downtown to build it. The mall was an almost magical place to visit back then, but after a few years the magic faded away. The the mall faded away. They did try to revive it a few times. It is now slated for destruction."


"We were about to take a drive to nowhere as we often did back then. My cousin was showing his dog some affection before we left. Click…"


"This is a very early street photo of mine. I had wandered into a local skating rink and was going to take a picture of the group of kids and the arcade gun. As I hit the shutter the owner jumped to kick me out! He made the shot!"


Tim Goodspeed said...

"What Was He Thinking" is one of my favorite reoccurring posts that you do. I always enjoying seeing other street photographers work and the stories behind the photos. The latest post of Robert Johnson's images is great. However, the link to his Flickr website brings to mind the work EDIT. I know that Flickr is for the most part photographic vomit, but I would have expected better from a photographer of Mr. Johnson's caliber.

Blake Andrews said...

Agreed. Editing is key. I generally have a hard time sorting through Flickr for just that reason. It serves as a good look at inner process but it is nowhere near a finished product. Sort of like looking at contact sheets.

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Zisis Kardianos said...


pleasing and enlightening as all the "what was he thinking" series.
The link to flickr doesn't work.
His new page is