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March 19, 2014

Portsmouth, Ohio

I imagine these chairs would be an interesting point of conversation but certainly would make up an odd dining room.  This photo was shot through the window of a store with a DSLR with the file developed in Lightroom then processed on the IPhone, sort of an odd thing to do. 

I might have written about this topic before, but here it goes again:   A few years ago, I became interested in the photographer Saul Leiter after I bought the premier issue of  the magazine Color.  Some of the photos in his section were composed of scenes shot from the sidewalk through glass, giving the soft diffused highlights that some might call a "flaw" but something I think adds interest.  Leiter died this past fall/early winter and I had intended to write up a nice article on his style of shooting. 

Leiter actually had two styles of shooting, one that paid the bills and one that paid the satisfaction, much like some of us who work day jobs to support the family then take photo-walks that produce images that some might call useless (I've heard that term before when pointing out a shot that I liked, in fact it was such a conversation while shooting this image above).    Leiter made a career and good money with his fashion photography but street scenes, street photography, and scenes of things found from the sidewalk seemed to produce a large amount of satisfaction for him.  Many of them have never been printed, so sayeth those who should know.

At the time of his death, I had a number of his books on my wishlist but they became unavailable due to popularity and increased collectible status.  I was able to find a small volume with about 64 images, all about 5x7 or 4x6 in a nice softback.   I've enjoyed the book but hope to add some with better reproductions and larger images later on, once supplies become available again (and they might already be so).    

Here are some interesting links about Saul Leiter:

A Google search of his images, this is a great starting place.

An article by Eric Kim on 7 Lessons Saul Leiter has taught him.  This article is a must-read, unconsciously I think I have always been striving to perfect these 7 lessons.

Then a New Yorker article on Mr. Leiter.


"When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture, and
when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we
discover something that we start seeing.  I like this confusion."

Saul Leiter