Street Photography: A Gift

December 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

A few years ago when I got off the subway at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue I was stopped dead in my tracks.  Huge backlit photos, awe-inspiring photos, of New York City from the 1950’s dominated the passageway.  Photographer – Saul Leiter.  I had never heard of him.  But every day for months, there was this time of magic when I passed his pictures.

No matter how tired or grumpy or rushed I was, I stopped to look.  Juxtapositions of colors, light, and angles riffed in every panel.  A visual jazz of the life of the city.  Thank you, Mr. Leiter, for the gift you have given the world.  For making me see in a different way.  For inspiration.

Chance once again brought me upon images, which changed my life.  Le Cercle Rouge is a photographer whose work is a meditation on the night.  He immerses himself in the night of the city, in the streets along which we all walk.  His subtle vision gives form to the feeling and shape of nighttime, the quiet lights, the shadows and the corners.  He explores the mystery and transformation.

Thank you, M. Rouge, for your gift to the world.  For courage to experiment.  For helping me to see more in the silences and to hear more in the light.

Recently, I found a photographer who blew me away.  Jason Langer is most definitely a conspirator and connoisseur of urban darkness and the denizens of night.  Shadowy glimpses, rich saturated blacks, unexpected points of view startle and draw you in.  The density of night, both fearful and narcotic, permeates.

Thank you, Mr. Langer, for your gift to the world.  And thank you for making visual what I have wished for in my own work.

I am indebted and inspired by these photographers and so many others.  Painters, musicians, dancers, poets and the people I meet on the streets and byways of my life are the gifts I receive everyday.


Some of Saul Leiter’s photos with music by Miles Davis:

Le Cercle Rouge on Flickr:

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