Saul Leiter, 1923-2013

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© Roger Szmulewicz
© Roger Szmulewicz

Photographer Saul Leiter died November 26 in New York. Originally a painter, Leiter ultimately photographed for such publications as Vogue, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar, but more importantly perhaps, he built a body of extraordinarily evocative street photography. Though he worked in color and black and white, he is known as one of the pioneers of color photography. Notoriously uninterested in seeking recognition, he worked somewhat under the radar until 2006, when the monograph Saul Leiter: Early Color was published by Steidl, and exhibitions of his work traveled throughout the United States and Europe. “Being ignored is a great privilege,” he once said. “That is how I think I learnt to see things others do not see….”

A documentary about the photographer, In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter, directed by Thomas Leach, was shown earlier this month at the New York Doc film festival.