Second exhibition this weekend was Saul Leiter at the Photographers’ Gallery – an excerpt from their write up:

“I don’t have a philosophy, I have a camera.“ Saul Leiter

An iconoclast who pursued his vision through signature framing devices, bold hues and relective surfaces, Leiter manages to transform seemingly ordinary street scenes in close proximity to his New York apartment into visual poetry.”

The exhibition covered black and white, colour, painting on photographs. It highlighted his street photography as well as his fashion work for the magazines. Apart from the gallery being very busy – most likely because it was a weekend and it was raining outside, it was nice to see the numbers of people out to see this work and discussing what they saw. I have posted below, a few of the pictures that struck me (and which I could find on the internet).

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© Saul Leiter

I adore this picture for the texture of the glass and how it reveals and obscures at the same time. There is sufficient light for you to see the face, hands and the ring, but not much else. The composition is also clever in the way in which it obscures the face.

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© Saul Leiter

“The umbrella series…” One of the things that struck me about his work is the way in which he uses everyday environmental objects to frame his subjects – car windows, railings, mirrors, etc. What I like here is the contrast of strong colours, red, white, yellow and black.

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© Saul Leiter

The solitude of the carriage, with only the shoe showing tells you everything and nothing. The reflection back onto the glass brings and added dimension to the photograph. This reflection work is something that appears in other pictures by Leiter.

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© Saul Leiter

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© Saul Leiter

What I like about this picture is the fact that the main subject is not in focus, which is the complete antithesis of what you would expect for a fashion shot. But you still focus on the model and the hat in any event, even though it is not crisp and clear

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© Saul Leiter

Another one from the “umbrella series”. Again, nothing is in focus…  but you still get a sense of movement and feeling from the picture… you still follow the leading line of the traffic.

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© Saul Leiter

One of the reflection type pictures that he took. This picture disturbs me only because I am not sure if it is a double reflection….

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© Saul Leiter

An the seminal type of work that Leiter is famed for, framing through water condensed windows which has the yellow van as the vibrant background colour against the muted green/brown jacket of the man.

Overall I really enjoyed the exhibition and will try to go back when there are less people around to spend some more time examining his work – but he provided oodles of inspiration and a differing view on perspective and composition.

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