I'm tirelessly walking the streets in search of good photographs. A few steps here, a few there and before you know it, I'm retracing steps taken a few weeks, months or even years ago. Time brings new things to familiar places. Here's a couple of shots taken about a year apart through the window at Chelsea's Paula Cooper Gallery. They've usually got some good window candy--maybe I should make this "lens against the glass" shot a more regular feature and turn it into a little series...
I spent yesterday and another day a few weeks ago hoofing it all around Gowanus and Red Hook in search of signs for my ongoing Signs project. The areas are a hotbed of vintage and new signs, all fighting for viewers passing through on the BQE/Gowanus Expressway and the subway. I came away with a richness of sign shots and well--quite a lot more! Photo-heaven for a guy like me this part of BK is. Here are a few outtakes...
Last week, I made a visit to Gowanus, Brooklyn to check out some of the old vintage sings for my Signs project. Believe it or not, this was my first time visiting. It definitely won't be my last! Gowanus is an urban photographer's dream. Part old-school Brooklyn, part industrial Amsterdam, with pleasant and not-so-pleasant surprises around every corner. Gowanus has got a great concentration of old signs, the most famous and oft-photographed being the Kentile Sign.
During my morning web browsing yesterday, I had one of those great "this leads to that" chain discoveries. I was looking at APhotoEditor, who had a great big interview with one of my all-time favorite photographers, Edward Burtynsky. Reading the article and interview, I learned that there are two current Burtynksy exhibitions in town--one at Howard Greenberg and another at Bryce Wolkowitz and while I'm more partial to seeing the work at Wolkowitz, I noted something else of interest on Greenberg's news page. My all-time favorite street photographer, Saul Leiter, has what looks to be a wonderful show currently happening in Amsterdam. Not only are Saul's stunning and unique color photographs (and his b/w work and his paitings) on view, but there was also a mention about a Saul Leiter film(!) which then lead me to Tomas Leach and his documentary In No Great Hurry.
Before getting to the film, here's a quick Saul Leiter primer. If you already know his work, you're likely a huge fan. If you don't, consider this a small introduction. From Lens Culture:
Saul Leiter started shooting color and black-and-white street photography in New York in the 1940s. He had no formal training in photography, but the genius of his early work was quickly acknowledged by Edward Steichen, who included Leiter in two important MoMA shows in the 1950s. MoMA's 1957 conference "Experimental Photography in Color" featured 20 color photographs by Leiter.
After that, however, Leiter's personal color photography was, for the most part, not shared with the public. He became better-known as a successful fashion photographer in the 1950s and 60s. All the while, Leiter continued to stroll the streets wherever he was (mostly New York and Paris), making photographs for his own pleasure. He printed some of his black-and-white street photos, but kept most of his color slides tucked away in boxes. It was only in the 1990s that he began to look back at the remarkable work and start to make prints. His sense of color and densely compressed urban life represents a unique vision of those times.
His images are often described as painterly and have been compared to the work for realist painter Edward Hopper. The mood and color of his photographs evoke New York of te 50s and 60s to such a degree that Leiter's photographs have been cited as a major inspiration for the cinematography of such films as Revolutionary Road.
And for more Saul, there's a wonderful interview over at the Photographers Speak blog.
Now, back to In No Great Hurry, which is still in production. I have to say I'm very excited to see how the film turns out. Here are a few rough cut clips...