A Look at The Artistic Photography of Saul Leiter

There are a lot of ways to learn photography these days outside of a traditional photography degree, but one of the things that have been lost for a lot of younger photographers is the history of photography courses that most art college students take. Examinations of the body of work and life of great photographers like Saul Leiter are a great step towards getting that part of education back in our digital age. 

Saul Leiter, born in 1923, was an American photographer who was recognized early for his fine artwork, but later found success in the 60-70s as a fashion photographer in New York City. An interesting note of his career is how he spent most of his life photographing street life in NYC with color film but never produced or showed the majority of his work until the 90s late in his life. In his final years, his work became highly recognized in the art world with many shows and books, his unique painterly style and use of colors inspiring and influencing new generations of artists in all mediums. 

In this video, Tatiana Hooper examines Leiter’s early career, his techniques and methods, and the impact his work has had on photography. Hopper’s YouTube channel has a lot of great videos covering film photography, history, and a lot more talented photographers’ careers. It is a great starting point for anyone interested in learning more about both the history of photography and some of its biggest names. As Leiter said:

I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way. Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I think I learned to see what others do not see and to react to situations differently. I simply looked at the world, not really prepared for anything.

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