Joel Meyerowitz (born 1938, New York City) is a street photographer who began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of color during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art. In the early 70's he taught the first color course at Cooper Union where many of today's renowned color photographers studied with him. He made a significant change to large format color photography in 1976, and along with Stephen Shore and William Eggleston became the first group of young artists to use color exclusively. Their work, seen and published in America and Europe, influenced the next generation's, particularly the young German artists, turn toward using color in photography. He is the author of 16 books including the seminal book, Cape Light. Meyerowitz often uses an 8x10 large format camera to produce luminous photographs of place and people.
Meyerowitz graduated from Ohio State University in 1959 with a degree in painting and medical illustration. Inspired by Robert Frank's book The Americans and by the work of Garry Wino grand, Meyerowitz took to the streets with a 35mm camera and black and white film. He also drew inspiration from Eugene Atget, whence the seeds of his most renowned work were planted. "In the pantheon of greats there is Robert Frank and there is Atget." Meyerowitz goes on to say that "those two visions of the world captivated me early on, opened me up.
Meyerowitz has published a photographic archive of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, and was the only photographer allowed unrestricted access to ground zero immediately following the attack. A number of these images have since been made into a book, Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive, published by Phaidon Press.
Joel Meyerowitz had extensive appearance in 2006 BBC-4 documentary The Genius Of Photography.
His photograph, "New York City, 1963," is used by permission in Taking Back Sunday's third album, Louder Now.