Saul Leiter : Early Color

“I don’t have a philosophy. I have a camera.” Saul Leiter (1923-2013)


Phone call : Copyright Saul Leiter (1957)

A friend introduced me to Saul Leiter’s work. She took me to an exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, in 2016. I was instantly hooked and I still am.

Born in Pittsburgh, USA, Leiter was brought up in a strict Jewish household. Abandoning Theological College, he moved to New York to paint. But while he never stopped painting, he made his living as a fashion photographer.


Near the Tanager : Copyright Saul Leiter (1954)

The 2016 exhibition included some of his fashion work, but its main focus was on Leiter’s personal street photography. Taken mostly in the 1950s, his color images are breathtaking. They were rarely exhibited and largely forgotten during his lifetime. It has taken the public and other photographers a long time to catch up.

In recent years, Leiter’s work has been championed by the Howard Greenberg Gallery and Steidl, who published ‘Early Color’ in 2006. By 2014 the book had reached its 5th edition. If you can find a copy, I warmly recommend it.

A short post can only give a taste of Saul Leiter’s photography. But I hope you’ll now feel like exploring more of his work – and I look forward to your feedback.






4 Responses to “Saul Leiter : Early Color”
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