Helen Levitt Research Paper

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Helen Levitt was an iconic photographer from Brooklyn, New York, born 1913. Over the course of her life Levitt captured the street culture of New York City, revealing the beauty and magic of everyday life in her photographs. Often her work was candid and she largely worked in black and white film before the 1950’s and 60’s and in the 1970s she became a pioneer in the field of colour photography. From 1938 - 1948 Levitt developed a focus on the children of New York City and exploring their street culture in her photographs. During this time she also collaborated with James Agee and Janice Loeb to create the film ‘In the Street’ which was captured in Spanish Harlem, recording the street life of this section of the city, with a clear focus on the children. Even after her death in 2009, Levitt is still renowned for her iconic and distinctive work of capturing the street culture of…show more content…
Levitt began her career by working with a commercial photographer, J. Florian Mitchell1, at 18, working in the darkroom on developing and printing. However, after seeing the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson she became inspired to purchase a 35mm Leica Camera, the same camera Cartier-Bresson used, and was influenced by his style, and her many art gallery visits, to capture the intriguing beauty of everyday life. She did this by heading out into the streets of New York City and capturing candid moments of the city life, with a focus on the “fraying edges of society”2. Her non-intrusive way of shooting and her creative eye, picking up on these magical details of the low socio economic side of society, is what has helped lead to Levitt becoming historically significant for her original style but also socially significant in the way she exposes these areas and the societies within them. Levitt shied away from the

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