To learn more about Bruce Gilden, I recommend reading: “5 Lessons Bruce Gilden Has Taught Me About Street Photography” and “An Afternoon with Bruce Gilden“.
This article is written by Ayman Oghanna, an award-winning photographer and journalist based in Istanbul.
I step into his office and humanity explodes. People everywhere. Moments everywhere. An ocean of smiles, frowns, scowls, and yawns drowning the sidewalks. Since 1981, he has worked these Midtown streets and he’s walking them now as he always has, a step or two faster than everybody else, with an eye on everybody else.
Then he sees her. Twenty yards in front of him, a face-lift in the crowd. A slow moving cartoon of a woman with heavy make up and a shock of peroxide in her hair. She looks like old money and, despite the cosmetic surgery, old-age. A character. He moves towards her, fast, biting his bottom lip with concentration. She’s close now, a few feet away; he steps to the right, looks up and pauses as if lost in thought. She’s about to pass his shoulder. And then it happens. He attacks. Turning and swooping into her face. Right in her face. FLASH. She gasps, his camera clicks and a hand shoots to her startled heart.
Bruce Gilden is one of the best street photographers currently alive. He is a photographer who has had a deep influence on me and my approach in street photography– especially when I first saw the video of him shooting in the streets of New York City.
Bruce Gilden is also one of the most controversial street photographers– and I also feel one of the most misunderstood.
In this article I will write what I personally learned from his street photography and how I see him as more of a humanistic street photographer (rather than just being an asshole as others might misinterpret him to be).
Recently Magnum Photos has been doing a great initiative via their Facebook fan page and Twitter titled: #AskMagnum. They have been soliciting questions for Magnum Photographers and asking the best questions.
They recently did a great interview/video slideshow with Bruce Gilden on their blog. The questions posed related to advice for street photographers, how he stays motivated to shoot new projects, as well as other interesting questions!
Check it out the interview here. Also read more to see Bruce Gilden’s portfolio.
Had the chance to collaborate with Leica Camera and Magnum Photos to ask Bruce Gilden a few questions about his work in Port-au-Prince, Haiti alongside Josh White. Very humbled to have asked him some questions about his work, and found his answers to be very honest and insightful.
Check out the interview here: Leica & Magnum: The Spirit Lives Here by Bruce Gilden