This is already week four of this new column and definitely time to introduce the work of a woman street photographer, that is Helen Levitt. Though a lot of her early pictures were shot in Black & White, Iet's have a look at her New York City color work.
Quick facts/observations about Helen Levitt
– American born (1909-2009), she took pictures for nearly 70 years, mostly in New York City.
– kids and working class neighbourhoods were among her favorite subjects, documenting their life conditions.
– she mounted a right-angled viewfinder on her Leica to remain unnoticed in the streets.
– she worked with Walker Evans early on, another master of street photography.
– in 1943, she already had a solo exhibition at the MOMA in New York.
– after a successful career in Black and White, she switched to color dye-transfer in the 60's.
– the slides of most of her 1960's color work were stolen from her house. She had to start all over again.
– she returned to B&W at the very end of her career, using a lighter Contax to relieve her back pain.
– Talking about nowadays, she said : “I go where there’s a lot of activity, children used to be outside. Now the streets are empty. People are indoors looking at television or something.”**
If I could ask her a question ….
– what do you think of cloud storage ?
To discover more about Helen Levitt
– Book : Helen Levitt
– **Link: New York Times article published after her death in 2009. Full of great information about her career.
If you missed it last week, have a look at the work of Fred Herzog.