Masters of street photography #1 : Saul Leiter

This is a new column that I will tentatively publish on every Sunday. Indeed, for most of us, Sundays are a time to relax, and why not, look at a few pictures on a lazy afternoon in that cozy sofa of yours.
The idea of this new column is to share the work of street photographers whose work have influenced the history of street photography. Not all the audience of this website are street photography addicts (lots of travel and Paris lovers) and I hope that this column helps you discover the work of some of the amazing street photographers throughout history. A few quick facts and observations about each street photographer will also be provided below the gallery.

For the first few months, I’ll focus on color street photographers. My personal favorite, Saul Leiter, had evidently to be the first one to be covered. (I used Pinterest as a gallery viewer, click on the button below the pictures to discover the whole series).

Abonnez-vous au tableau Saul Leiter de Yanidel sur Pinterest.

Quick facts/observations about Saul Leiter.
–  American citizen from New York City, 1923 – 2013. Most of his street photographs were taken in the Big Apple.
– one of the very first street photographers to use color extensively in the 40’s and 50’s.
– his street photography work was only shown publicly from the 90’s and reached widespread fame during the last few years of his life.
– his pictures combine a large part of abstraction with candid street situations.
– he achieved his special colors experimenting with expired film.
– the colors, people clothing, cars of the 40's and 50's bring a strong nostalgia element to his pictures. (Instagram founders were probably big fans of Saul Leiter)
– a Leica shooter for many years, his kit was made of several focal lengths. He often used tele lenses to compress the various planes of his scenes.
– In the 13 lessons in life with Saul Leiter DVD, you can see him shooting with an entry level micro 4/3 camera. Some of the resulting pictures are shown. While the composition are great, they definitely don't have the magic of his expired film colors. Yet, Lightroom probably did not have much appeal to him.
If I could ask him a question ….
– was he a shy street photographer or was it a deliberate choice to always shoot partly concealed (behind windows, below storefronts, with tele lenses…) ? (Do no hesitate to provide your own opinion in the comments section)
To discover more about Saul Leiter
Book : Saul Leiter: Early Color – one of the masterpiece of street photography.
DVD : In No Great Hurry-13 Lessons in Life W/Saul Leiter – who was the man behind the pictures ?

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