Gus Powell


This would be me on Fifth Avenue a few blocks south of 57th Street, an intersection that I think of as the heart chakra of street photography. Just about anyone who has tried to make these sorts of pictures has done some time on the sunny side of this street. Most of the Hall of Famers and more skillful practitioners are built like middle infielders. They can do the "invisible photographer" thing. They are there, and then they are not there. Being six-foot-five, I am there, and then I am also there. Sometimes I use my height as an advantage, other times I do what you see here, which has been called the "crouching tiger." I love Fifth Avenue. I love how generous it is. The sidewalks are wide, and the pedestrian theater has a deep cast. If you know what you want to see, you will see it. If you don't know what you want, you will end up seeing something that you will want. For me, the pleasure is in the combinations—in being able to capture a half dozen to two dozen people crossing paths for just a moment, then locking them into a long-term relationship in a photograph.