Hollywood Streets, 1979-1983

In the late 1970s, Matt Sweeney dropped out of high school with dreams of becoming a movie maker. While working in gas stations and restaurants in San Jose, California, he found out about Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope education/training/intern program, and moved to Hollywood to pursue that. Matt wanted to work behind the camera, so he started practicing with a Nikon F2 camera, shooting Kodachrome slides. Inspired by photographers like Garry Winogrand, Minor White, and Elliott Erwitt, he set out to document the world around him on the streets of Hollywood, photographing scenes from 1979 through 1983, while hoping somehow to hit the big time. The internship never happened, and unfortunately, no production jobs materialized. At 21, Matt moved on, selling his equipment and working through college to do lab work. "I went to Hollywood to 'make it', but didn't, and ended up taking pictures of Hollywood, capturing scenes of others 'not making it' as well. It didn't escape me then and it doesn't now." Matt held onto the slides, now more than 30 years old, and has recently begun scanning and posting them on Tumblr. "The web makes it possible to leave some kind of record of my time and share it with people". Many thanks to Matt for sharing these images below, captions by the photographer.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Marco Di Marco / AP

    A New Eruption of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall Volcano

    A fissure opened on August 3, and thousands have since made the long trek to the site to witness the new eruption.

  • NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

    Photos of the Week: Knife Angel, Paris Henge, Flamingo Tagging

    Scenes from the Commonwealth Games in England, a new sinkhole in Chile, Beluga whales near Svalbard, an air show above the Giza Pyramids, and much more

  • Amanda Rossman / USA Today Network / Reuters

    After the Floods: Recovery in Kentucky

    Images from a region beset by record-setting floods, just starting the work of recovery

  • Finnbarr Webster / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Nail House, Scorched Forest, Raging Bull

    A lake dive in Bosnia, racing on the Senegal River, an earthquake in the Philippines, NASCAR in Pennsylvania, wildfires in Greece and France, and much more