Saul Leiter is currently a serious challenger to Ray Metzker for the position of my all-time favourite photographer. He was a real artist whose colour street work was relatively unknown during his lifetime.
He used colour in the most beautiful, painterly manner and his photographs often give the impression of a carefully controlled palette. His unusual, strong compositions are precise and delicate abstractions. He would often shoot through glass to render the image indistinct and frequently made impressive use of the spatial compression that longer lenses create.
He was simply an astonishing photographer and by all accounts a humble and lovely man.
A large number of the photography books that interest me cost many hundreds of pounds, despite being only a few years old, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a superb hardback overview of Saul Leiter’s entire career published by Kehrer Verlag.
I paid just £31 for it brand new. Go get a copy before it costs £900!
The printing is good quality, the colours are great and there are numerous essays. There are even some smaller page inserts with reproductions of some of Leiter’s paintings.
I’d be over the moon if I took just one or two shots that are as good as some of the photos in this book.
You can see some of Leiter’s work on the Gallery51 website.
There is a recent documentary about him available on dvd here.