© Saul Leiter, Taxi (New York, 1957)


© Saul Leiter

The photographic genre in which the photographer captures subjects in the street during real life situations is street photography. A famous photographer in this genre is Saul Leiter.

Who he is

© Saul Leiter, Taxi (New York, 1957)

Saul Leiter was born in Pittsburg in 1923. Because of his passion for art, Leiter moved to New York to begin his career as an artist. After a few years he became interested in photography thanks to his friendship with the expressionist painter Richard Pousette Dart and the photographer Eugene Smith. The two artists encouraged Leiter to start photographing on the streets of New York as they were convinced of his skill. The transition to colour in his shots allowed him to make New York joyful and harmonious in his photographs. Through the use of colour Saul Leiter sees a new way of analysing spaces. He is considered the genius of street photography.

Passion for painting

Saul Leiter was not only a photographer but also a painter. He continued to paint throughout his life. His passion for surrealist and expressionist painters influenced his shots. He took inspiration for his photos from various artistic worlds from which he got ideas for photo composition, framing, use of light and colours. He was attracted by beauty and simplicity which made his images full of emotion. Leiter also took pictures through objects, giving his shots an air of mystery and creativity. An example is his photo taken in New York in 1960.

© Saul Leiter, Snow (New York, 1960)

Other successus

Leiter has also worked as a fashion photographer but in this field he does not make fame. He achieved success in 2006 with the publication of his book ‘Early Colour’. The book has pictures taken between 1948 and 1960. Inside the book the photos show new techniques experimented by the photographer. Leiter always experimented in his pictures. For example, he experimented with the use of the telephoto lens, thanks to which he was able to compress certain elements and simplify his images.

Giulia Antonelli

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