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A Salute to the Masters: A Tribute to Elliott Erwitt

In this article, I pay homage to a street photographer who has a rich sense of irony and humor: Elliott Erwitt. In addition to his professional work, he has always reserved for himself some free time to take pictures for personal projects with the style of an amateur photographer. Read more after the jump!

Among my preferred street photographers, certainly could not miss Eliott Erwitt. His subtle irony, the ability to grasp a situation of contrast make he truly unique. In his long career dedicated to advertising campaigns or reportage for Magnum agency, he always finds some free time to take photos for himself as an amateur photographer. To pay homage to him through my first picture, I chose one taken in a cold January in Milan, where some brave swimmers faced 150 meter swim in the icy waters of the canals of the city, watched by baffled organizers that were well-covered with warm clothes and hats:

Photo by sirio174

The second photo represents some billboards which are again dedicated to the contrasts: here you can see the contrast between the “violence” and “sacredness,” between a boxing event and an invitation to a prayer meeting. It reminds me of the famous essay by anthropologist René Girard, “Violence and the Sacred.”

Photo by sirio174

Dear child, you’ll grow up and when you’ll became a boy, you’ll be proud to show off your abdominal muscles, dressed the latest, fashionable pair of underpants!

Photo by sirio174

In the Italian language, “badante” is a term that refers to a person employed to care for the elderly, or a caregiver. If you are lonely and old, what do you prefer as a company, to adopt a dog or hire a caregiver?

Photo by sirio174

After the photos dedicated to the contrasts, I move now to some photos about dogs. This cute little dog has mistaken the bowl for the coins of street artist with his bowl of food!

Photo by sirio174

Eliott Erwitt’s photos of dogs are so famous, so I want to pay him homage for that. I continue with this lazy dog:

Photo by sirio174

This dog seemed to have lost sight of its mistress, distracted by the cement balls in the square:

Photo by sirio174

After these moments of freedom, you’ll put me back on the leash, right? It seems like this little dog enjoyed the first sunny days of the spring, free from his leash!

Photo by sirio174

Hey boys, don’t roll the towel with the Hello Kitty! This dog was offended and left the grass to take refuge on the steps of the War Memorial of my city!

A cute little dog, who belongs to a manager of the rides at Luna Park, observed the passers-by and was so lonely. Nobody went to pet it, they all went straight to the rides!

If there’s one thing I admire in Elliott Erwitt it’s his ability to find a paradox or funny situation out of any moment. With his old Leica that has accompanied him for years, he always is searching for funny and paradoxical moments. If you want to find out more about his work, I recommend that you visit his official website

Salute to the Masters is a series dedicated to great photographers that I like. Before this regular contributor series I posted other tributes for Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore, Gabriele Basilico, J.H. Lartigue and Gianni Berengo Gardin. I especially love street photography and urban architectural photography.

written by sirio174


  1. lomodesbro


    Diving in is a strong visual metaphor for photography. Amazing

    12 months ago · report as spam
  2. ihave2pillows


    Composing in B&W is so much harder... there's no colour to distract our eyes!

    11 months ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 中文(繁體版) & 中文(繁體版).