Street Photographer: Saul Leiter

Photographer: Saul Leiter

Style: Saul Leiter’s photography style is not notable, but still gives the viewer a feeling of a certain mood the photograph tries to convey.  Although street photography mostly consists of black and white photos, Leiter’s applied color photography in his photography career and become a pioneer in color photography; thus, vivid street color is a major feature in his style.  Another interesting characteristic of Leiter’s photography is his use of composition, in which in most of his photographs, he would place an object that represents or symbolizes a certain meaning in the front of the photo, and would structure the main/dominant element of the photo in the back.

Photo #1:

In this photo, the style of Leiter’s photography is clearly shown.  First, the color red on the “Haircut” sign and the color red on the “Coke Cola” sign behind creates a strong connection.  Second, the composition of the “Haircut” post and the “Coke Cola” sign behind illustrates a contrast with the man facing rightwards, symbolizing the man’s confusion and hesitation when he’s standing in front of the counter.  In addition, the mirror that reflects the sign and the man also gives uniqueness to the photo, the reflection represents the two-sidedness, further developing the man’s feelings and demonstrating the meaning of choice.

Photo #2:

In this photo, the unique style of Leiter’s photography is represented detailed.  Firstly, the color orange and the color scheme related to orange in the photo is displayed completely, where the banner, the window, the reflection on the car, and the person walking beside all contain the element of the color orange.  Secondly, the composition of a black car in the front also reveals style, in which although the main focus is on the person and the bar beside, the car is placed in the front stage of the photo, telling the audience the relationship between the car and person or the store behind.  Furthermore, the reflection on the car is placed in the photo that consists almost half of the photo, unfolding not only the photographer’s intention of showing two-sidedness, but also engenders a sharp-feeling atmosphere.

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